Sheffield Wednesday: Billy interest Sharpens up

Billy Sharp is a transfer target for Sheffield Wednesday.
Billy Sharp is a transfer target for Sheffield Wednesday.

Sheffield Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric has revealed the Championship club are aiming to lure Southampton striker Billy Sharp to Hillsborough.

It is understood Sharp has been deemed surplus to requirements by Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino despite having two years left to run of his contract at St Mary’s.

Celtic, Doncaster Rovers and Barnsley have all been linked with Sharp, a lifelong Sheffield United supporter, in recent weeks. The 27-year-old, who has previously represented United and Rovers, spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest, bagging 11 goals in 31 appearances.

With Gary Madine ruled out for the next month due to his impending court case, Wednesday are short of options up front. Dave Jones, the Owls manager, is keen to strengthen his strikeforce and Mandaric has admitted the club are in the running to sign Sharp.

“We are interested in Billy and are in dialogue with Southampton,” he told The Star.

One stumbling block which could scupper a potential move could be Sharp’s wages. This newspaper understands the player earns in the region of £20,000 a week at Southampton. It is thought Wednesday hope to recruit Sharp on a six-month loan deal but Saints would prefer a permanent switch. It was less than a week ago Sharp said he was happy to stay and fight for a first-team place at Southampton.

“It has always been a dream of mine to play in the Premier League and I will continue to make myself available to the manager,” he said.

“I have been linked with numerous clubs this summer but it is all just speculation as far as I am concerned.”

Without several senior stars due to injury, Jones is eager to sign a new central midfielder and striker but has been told he must offload players before bringing others in.