Sheffield Wednesday: Owls boss bemoans takeover delay

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Owls head coach Stuart Gray plans on stepping up his summer recruitment drive - as soon as their takeover has been ratified by the Football League.

It was just over a fortnight ago Hafiz Mammadov purchased the Championship club.

However, the Azerbaijani businessman’s buy-out has yet to be approved by the League and The Star understands Sheffield Wednesday may have to wait until next month for the deal to be finalised.

Milan Mandaric, the Owls chairman, insists Gray can strengthen his squad before the ratification process is completed. But Gray claims that the delay in the takeover has derailed his bid to bring in new blood.

“We have deals on hold because of the takeover situation,” the Wednesday chief said. “Hopefully we can drive them through when we get the green light.

“We are patiently waiting for the paperwork to be sorted out. We have been in limbo but we have things lined and teed up. We can be very aggressive once we get clearance.”

Gray hopes to sign Sam Hutchinson and hang on to out of contract quartet Chris Kirkland, Glenn Loovens, Oguchi Onyewu and Jose Semedo as he prepares to reshape his squad. Queens Park Rangers striker Andy Johnson is also thought to be another player on their radar.

The Owls did swoop to sign Northern Ireland Under-21 international Paul McElroy yesterday. The winger, a free transfer following his release by Hull City, has penned a one-year contract.

But along with fellow new arrivals Matt Young, Ed Sanders and Ryan Croasdale, McElroy, aged 19, is likely to be a member of Wednesday’s development squad.