Nigel Adkins last night revealed his admiration for Leicester City midfielder Dean Hammond after confirming “private conversations” are taking place ahead of a potential move into the emergency loan market.
The Sheffield United manager, who awarded Hammond the captaincy during his spell in charge at Southampton, also refused to rule-out the possibility of Dan Burn arriving at Bramall Lane despite Fulham’s insistence a selection crisis means the defender will not be allowed to leave Craven Cottage.
As The Star reported earlier this month, Adkins has placed Hammond’s name on a list of possible targets with Claudio Ranieri, his counterpart in the Midlands, yesterday acknowledging the 32-year-old will be allowed to depart the King Power Stadium.
“Everyone knows what I think about him (Hammond) as a man, a leader and an excellent football player,” Adkins said. “But he’s playing in the Premier League at this moment in time. He’s actually not in the team at the moment, but he was on the bench at the start of the season.
“He’s got Premier League experience, but also good Championship and League One experience.”
Adkins, whose side returns to action against Doncaster Rovers tomorrow, recently brokered an agreement with Burn and his representatives only for Fulham to abort the deal after losing several key players to injury.
“I don’t really like talking about individual names,” Adkins added. “But, suffice to say, we’re looking at good players which is why we targeted them in the first place. Equally, because of that, clubs don’t want to ley them go easily, especially in the Championship.
“There are lots of parts and factors to the equation. We are also very mindful that we want to keep working hard with the players we’ve already got and developing them. We believe in them and, ultimately, the people actually here are always the most important.”
Hammond failed to appear during City’s Capital One Cup tie against West Ham in midweek and Ranieri said: ““If he wants to go on loan, I think it is much better for him if he wants to play this season.”