Sampdoria defender Omar Colley has emerged as the most likely January signing for Sheffield United.
That’s according to The Sheffield Star, anyway, who say the Blades have made “tentative” enquiries about Colley in recent weeks.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of interest in the 28-year-old from Bramall Lane, but it is the first time it’s looked like a distinct possibility.
Manager Chris Wilder has publicly admitted there will be no permanent transfers in the upcoming window. Instead, the club are targeting two loans.
One position they want to fill is in midfield, with Jesse Lingard having emerged as a target. Preliminary talks about signing Lingard from Manchester United have already taken place.
Yet Wilder’s top priority remains a replacement for Jack O’Connell on the left side of central defence.
O’Connell is sidelined, probably for the rest of this season, after having knee surgery in September.
In his absence, five other players have already played in the role this term – to varying degrees of success.
Why Omar Colley could be a likely signing
Colley is thought to be excited about the prospect of moving to England after reported interest from United and Fulham.
Fenerbahce are also thought to be keen on the Gambia international, who has 25 caps for his country.
Ben Davies is still thought of as a long-term replacement for O’Connell, but Preston North End won’t let him leave on a temporary basis.
Davies is out of contract in the summer, though, so the Blades could return for him then.
Marcos Rojo is another who has been linked with a move to South Yorkshire, with several of the board of directors admirers of the Man United centre-back.
However, Wilder and his coaching staff are less keen on Rojo. Also, signing him would mean they couldn’t land Lingard as well. It’s because Premier League rules state top flight sides can’t sign two loanees from another team in the division.
Therefore Colley, as a left-sided central defender from the foreign market and available on loan, looks to be a prime target.