Nigel Clough is plotting a series of lightning strikes into the transfer market, writes James Shield.
The Sheffield United manager has revealed he wants the squad tasked with delivering promotion this time next year to be in place by the time his players resume training in six weeks time.
“We don’t want anyone joining halfway through,” Clough told The Star. “If we need a loan or two through the course of the season then that’s different.
“We know who our targets are. We have people in mind, the same as we did last year.
“And, if possible, we want them here for July 1.”
Although English football does not officially reopen for business until that date, Clough’s words confirm United’s hierarchy will attempt to negotiate deals for those on his wanted-list before officially processing them on the first day of the window.
A new centre-half and centre-forward feature among Clough’s priorities with Steven Davies, previously of Blackpool, Brighton and Hove Albion’s Chris O’Grady and Shaun Barker known to be among those under consideration. However, Barker has initially been earmarked for a supporting role should he accept United’s invitation to prepare for the 2015/16 campaign at the Redtooth Academy.
“We have already identified what we need and who is best placed to provide that,” Clough said. “We want people who can contribute on the pitch and off it too.”