SHEFFIELD Wednesday are still confident of securing a fresh loan deal for Sunderland frontman Connor Wickham.
The England Under-21 striker was an unused substitute in last night’s 1-0 victory over Stoke City after Sunderland opted to end the £8m man’s spell at Hillsborough earlier this week.
Sunderland are thought to have activated Wickham’s recall clause on Monday morning, due to injury fears over fellow striker Steven Fletcher, who was restricted to an outing from the bench last night.
But with Gus Poyet ready to hold talks with Wickham before tomorrow’s transfer deadline, Wednesday boss Stuart Gray is hopeful that the 20-year-old will re-join the Owls after netting eight times in 11 games for the Championship side.
When asked whether he believes there’s a chance Wickham will return to South Yorkshire, Gray replied: “Yes, very much so.
“It’s a case of being in dialogue with Gus and Sunderland, and Connor wants to come back as well.
“He was hugely disappointed he had to go back. Fingers crossed we can get him back.”
Gray admits it was a shock that Sunderland decided to end Wickham’s loan spell, which was due to end after Tuesday’s Championship clash at Millwall.
“It was a bolt from the blue,” added the Wednesday boss. “We’d gone out training and I got a phone call.
“There was some technicality where they had to call Connor back before 12. I was under the impression that if they didn’t call him back he wouldn’t be eligible (for last night’s game).”
Meanwhile, Blackpool winger Tom Ince will make a decision on his future before tomorrow’s transfer deadline.
Sunderland are one of a number of Premier League clubs - including Swansea, Hull, Crystal Palace and Stoke - who have held talks with Ince.
Blackpool have given permission for the England Under-21 international, who is out of contract in the summer, to leave the club on a loan deal until the end of the season.
But Sunderland would need to make a bid to sign Ince permanently after using up their two domestic loans on Ki Sung-Yueng and Fabio Borini.