Sheffield United and Bristol City are competing for the loan signing of Aston Villa striker Scott Hogan.

That is according to Sky Sports, who report that Villa are also willing to allow Hogan to leave on a temporary deal.

The Republic of Ireland international is now likely to depart Villa Park before the January transfer window closes on Thursday.

However, how can the Blades ensure they win the race to sign Hogan? Well they may have a bargaining chip.

How to beat Bristol City to Hogan

Apparently the Robins are also interested in one of United’s squad members as their search for a new forward continues.

HITC reports that Leon Clarke is on their radar. Hull City, Millwall and Wigan Athletic are also understood to be keen.

Blades manager Chris Wilder has since confirmed there have been enquiries about Clarke. And that the 33-year-old would be allowed to leave Bramall Lane.

“I’m always open in situations like this,” Wilder told the Sheffield Star. “Yes, there’s been people interested in him.

“We’ll let him think about what he wants to do.

“We’ve told Leon about the interest. We always do tell our players if someone comes in for them because we prefer to be honest and keep them abreast of what’s going on.”

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Wilder is unlikely to let Clarke leave unless he can bring in a replacement. At the moment that looks most likely to be Hogan.

With Bristol City interested in both attackers, if United could engineer Clarke’s move to Ashton Gate then they would be free to sign Hogan themselves.

It’s well known that the latter favours a move to South Yorkshire, criticising former Villa boss Steve Bruce back in October because a summer switch fell through.

“Sheff United were very interested,” Hogan was quoted by Birmingham Live.

“I wasn’t allowed to leave. He (Bruce) was adamant that he didn’t want me to go, he said I had a future playing as a striker and I was assured we were going to change the way we were playing.

“So it was disappointing for me two days later when he signed a striker (Tammy Abraham) and nothing changed at all.”

However, whether Clarke would be open to a switch to Bristol remains to be seen.

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