Sheffield United: Blades make another move for ex-Owl Chris O’Grady as Steve Davies deal breaks down

Chris O'Grady, now at Brighton, is wanted by Sheffield United
Chris O'Grady, now at Brighton, is wanted by Sheffield United

Sheffield United will attempt to ressurect a deal for Brighton and Hove Albion centre-forward Chris O’Grady after their bid to capture Steve Davies hit a stumbling block.

Nigel Clough confirmed Blackpool have decided not to part company with the former Derby County and Bristol City striker following the weekend’s goalless draw at Crewe Alexandra in the FA Cup first round despite previously indicating he would be allowed to depart on loan.

With Marc McNulty joining Michael Higdon (hamstring) in the treatment room after sustaining a facial injury during an off-the-pitch incident earlier this month, the United manager is expected to approach officials on the south coast about the possibility of signing O’Grady before Saturday’s League One derby against Doncaster Rovers after Sami Hyypia, his Albion counterpart, indicated the 28-year-old can leave The Amex Stadium.

However, sources told The Star last night that the success of Clough’s bid hinges upon Hyypia’s own manoeuvres in the transfer market with the former Finland international insisting O’Grady must stay put until a suitable replacement is identified.

Although he acknowledged Blackpool’s u-turn was “disappointing,” Clough refused to rule-out the possibility of Davies arriving at Bramall Lane during the January window, saying: “It’s something we might well revisit at a later date. We’d had talks with them and agreed to everything they wanted but, in the end, they decided it wouldn’t be happening.”

“You can never say never,” Clough added. “It might be something that we revisit again in a couple of months time or they might also change their stance again in the future. We’ll see.

“We’ve spoken with three (targets) lately and we’re trying to make sure something comes of that but things like the cups, getting permission for them to take part, all has to be taken into account. The one thing we do want to make sure is that we get the right people, not just anyone for the sake of it.”

O’Grady, who has also represented Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday since progressing through the ranks at Leicester City 11 years ago, had been poised to join United after leaving Barnsley during the close season but opted for Albion instead.

United, meanwhile, are investigating events surrounding McNulty’s absence although Clough, speaking after the stalemate with Alexandra, insisted he was the “innocent party” in an altercation which reportedly took place inside an Edinburgh night club.

“We don’t know how long Marc is going to be out for because, quite rightly, the medical people don’t like to take risks with things like that,” Clough said. “We’ll find out exactly what happened but, yes, I’m not going to deny it’s frustrating when something like this takes place which is out of your control.”