Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder last night appeared to take a thinly-veiled dig at football agents after watching two proposed transfer deals collapse on deadline day.
Wilder completed his ninth and tenth signings of the window when Ben Heneghan and Clayton Donaldson arrived at Bramall Lane on Thursday evening.
But moves for three players, including Devante Cole and Domingos Quina, failed to materialise despite productive talks with their respective clubs. Watford centre-forward Jerome Sinclair also featured on United’s wanted-list, only to remain in Hertfordshire.
Exonerating United of any blame, Wilder said: “We’d have love to have got the other three deals done, but I don’t think myself or anyone else involved at our end could have done anymore to get these deals over the line.
“Unfortunately in these instances there are sometimes other outside influences that I can’t control, not inside the club, but other people within the industry.”
Cole, the Fleetwood Town centre-forward, emerged as a target when United submitted a bid for his services last week. Quina, of West Ham, appeared destined to agree a temporary switch to South Yorkshire only for negotiations to stall at the last moment.
Wilder did bolster his attacking options by recruiting Clayton Donaldson from Birmingham City.
Dismissing suggestions United swooped for the Jamaica international after calling time on their pursuit of Cole, the 49-year-old admitted: “The big one for us was Clayton. He gives is pace and power at the top of the pitch, he has Championship experience and I’ve tried to sign him three or four times so I know a lot about him. He is an excellent player and an outstanding person too.”
Heneghan, previously of Motherwell, could also make his debut when United visit Sunderland next weekend.
“We’re delighted to get Ben in and seeing the smile on his face when he came through the door, he’s made up to be here,” Wilder, speaking to United’s official website, added. That really was great to see, that desire to come to us. We’ve got some work to do with him, but he’s a willing learner and he has the tools to become a very decent player.”