sport

Clough hoping Maguire stays

Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough is hoping to avoid a situation where he has to make a decision on Harry Maguire's future.

The talented centre-half is currently attracting interest from higher up football's food chain, with Championship new boys Wolverhampton Wanderers and Premier League outfit Hull City reported to be keen on acquiring his services.

Contract talks at Bramall Lane have been delayed as a result, with the 21-year-old understandably keen to weigh up his options.

Clough will be putting no pressure on the England U21 international to make a decision, but hopes the final outcome in an unwelcome transfer saga proves to be positive for United.

It could be that a sale becomes the best option for all concerned, bringing in useful funds, but for now Maguire remains very much part of Clough's plans, and he would like to keep it that way.

He told The Star: "As far as we're concerned, nothing has changed.

"If we get a bid that means we can strengthen two or three positions then it's something, of course, we would have to seriously consider, but that's not happened and we also want Harry to stay.

"If it doesn't happen, then the situation remains the same and Harry will start the season with us.

"The (contract) offer will still be there and we are happy to talk about it again if that's the case or he decides that's what he wants.

"But the decision will have to come from his side, not us, because they were the ones who made it (to postpone talks)."

Clough, who has completed a number of early-summer deals but continues to be linked with the likes of Blackpool's Harrison McGahey, added: "We have tried to be as clear as possible about the situation out of respect for our supporters.

"We've brought in Andy Butler and have been made aware of Harrison's contractual situation - made aware, we haven't involved ourselves.

"But it would be a mistake to think we view those as replacements for Harry. That's not the case."