Sheffield Wednesday have not given up hope of bringing Sam Hutchinson back to Hillsborough - despite Premier League outfit WBA having expressed an interest in signing the utility player.
The Star understands WBA inquired about the 24-year-old, who is a free agent having been released by Chelsea at the end of last season, some time ago. It is believed the Baggies, who recently appointed former Owls boss Alan Irvine as head coach, want to recruit a new right-back and Hutchinson features on a shortlist of potential summer recruits. Irvine is said to be weighing up offering him a one-year deal.
But Hutchinson, who impressed on loan with the Owls in the 2013/14 campaign, is also wanted by Wednesday and Millwall. Both have offered Hutchinson, who can be deployed at centre-back, right-back or in defensive midfield, a deal but he has yet to make a decision over where his future lies.
Stuart Gray, the Owls head coach, said: “Sam [Hutchinson] is a quality player and he did well for us. The thing is, like with all the loan players we have signed, we have put them in the shop window and other managers will have seen what Sam can do.
“But I am confident, if we can get the takeover completed, we will get Sam through the door.”
Wednesday, meanwhile, will take on newly promoted Russian top flight side FC Arsenal Tula during their pre-season training camp in Slovenia.
The Owls were due to face Serbian SuperLiga side FK Cukaricki on Wednesday, July 23, but Tula will now be the opposition.
Tula have enjoyed a remarkable rise up the Russian leagues, winning three consecutive promotions. They will make their top flight debut next season.
The warm-up match will take place at the Ptuj City Stadium, close to the Owls’ training base in Maribor, with a 5pm GMT kick off.