Sheffield United could enter the race to sign Jake Forster-Caskey.
The former England under-21 international is mulling over a move to Rotherham after being declared surplus to requirements by Brighton and Hove Albion at the end of last term.
But sources close to Forster-Caskey last night insisted United are also monitoring his situation closely despite unveiling John Fleck before travelling to La Manga for warm-weather training earlier this week.
Chris Wilder, the League One club’s new manager, must now decide whether to hijack those talks or focus on strengthening its options at centre-half and centre-forward following Fleck’s arrival.
Defender Kyle McFadzean, who had been the subject of a £250,000 bid by United, yesterday joined Burton Albion from MK Dons while preliminary discussions are known to have been held with Matthew Kilgallon’s agent.
Like Forster-Caskey, Fleck attracted interest from several Championship teams after leaving Coventry City. But, speaking ahead of United’s game against a Murcia Representative XI tomorrow, he revealed how Wilder’s powers of persuasion had helped lure him to Bramall Lane.
“We had a 20 minute chat about football in general, not about the move, and then he showed me around the stadium,” Fleck said. “My mind was made up then.
“Everytime I’ve played here before I’ve always come away thinking ‘I really enjoyed that.’ The atmosphere is always great and it’s a proper football club.”
Wilder outlined plans to perform a major overhaul of United’s first team squad after being appointed manager in May. He released 10 and transfer listed another seven members of the team which finished 11th in the table last season before capturing Mark Duffy and Chris Hussey. James Wilson, Jack O’Connell, Jake Wright and Fleck joined them in South Yorkshire earlier this month.
Wilder spoke of his “delight” at securing Fleck’s services and appeared poised to hand him a key role next season. Although Albion are aware Forster-Caskey also boasts admirers among the 48-year-old’s inner circle, they are adamant no negotiations with United have taken place.
United, who will shortly confirm that former Chesterfield head of recruitment Paul Mitchell has joined their backroom staff, return to England this weekend.