Sheffield United suffer blow in chase for Chris O’Grady, after 2-0 FA Cup win over Crewe

Jamal Campbell-Ryce battles with Crewe's Lee Molyneux in Sheffield United's 2-0 FA Cup win
Jamal Campbell-Ryce battles with Crewe's Lee Molyneux in Sheffield United's 2-0 FA Cup win

Sheffield United’s hopes of signing Chris O’Grady were dealt a blow when Sami Hyypia, the Brighton and Hove Albion manager, confirmed he will not be allowed to leave the Championship club until a suitable replacement is identified.

Nigel Clough, whose side reached the second round of the FA Cup after beating Crewe Alexandra last night, wants to recruit O’Grady on loan after centre-forwards Michael Higdon and Marc McNulty both sustained injuries.

The 28-year-old is available for transfer having started only five of Albion’s 17 Championship assignments since spurning United in favour of a move to the south coast after leaving Barnsley during the close season.

But Hyypia warned: “There’s been interest from different clubs to take Chris on loan but, at the moment, we are in the kind of situation that I cannot afford to let him go.

“If we sign a striker, that might limit the appearances of other players so then we need to look at the situation again.

“It’s not that easy to bring a player who you know for sure would help us go forward but we’re trying hard.”

With the deadline for emergency signings set to expire a week tomorrow, United have been forced to explore alternative options in the transfer market despite beating Newcastle and Sunderland to Che Adams’ services earlier this month.

The former Ilkeston youngster was ineligible for selection as two goals from Ryan Flynn secured United a home tie against Plymouth Argyle at Crewe’s expense.

Clough, the United manager, said: “We’re trying hard and there aren’t many names on our list but things are dependant upon other clubs.

“Michael and Marc aren’t far away though.”