Paul Heckingbottom is playing down a potential return to Sheffield United for Wolves’ Premier League captain Conor Coady.
The Blades finished second in the Championship last term, securing automatic promotion behind runaway leaders Burnley. But, according to reports, top-flight football is not necessarily the only thing in line for a return to Bramall Lane.
The Daily Mail say that Sheffield United are watching developmentssurrounding Conor Coady closely; the long-serving Wolves captain returning to Molineux following a mixed loan spell at Everton.
Coady, the 30-year-old England international, feels increasingly like a dusty old relic of a bygone Nuno Espirito Santo era, current boss Julen Lopetegui moving away from his preferred three-man backline with Craig Dawson and Max Kilman now firmly established as Wolves’ first-choice centre-half partnership.
Conor Coady in limbo at Wolves after Everton loan
But Heckingbottom is playing down rumoured moves for both Coady and another former Sheffield United man in Kyle Walker, indicating that the Steel City side will be forced to look further afield in pursuit of new signings.
“We did well last year at this time of the season, and it set us up really well. I think it is going to be more difficult this season,” Heckingbottom tells Yorkshire Live.
“We have gone up another level, and (with) the calibre of player we want to attract. But, arguably, we probably can’t attract the ready-made Premier League players.
“So we are going to have to be really good and clever in the recruitment, unearth some talent and some players with potential that can go and cope with the level that we are playing at.”
The Mail did point out, when alledging Sheffield United’s interest last month, that a ‘restricted budget’ could stand in their way of bringing Coady back to familiar surroundings. The one-time Liverpool youngster had a brief loan spell at Bramall Lane a decade ago.
Everton appear unlikely to return for Coady either; the experienced centre-half impressing under Frank Lampard but losing his place under Sean Dyche.
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