Sheffield Wednesday journalist Dom Howson has poured cold water on a potential move for St Johnstone centre-back Jamie McCart this summer, with Hibernian already having their first bid for the 24-year-old rejected last week.
The Scottish Sun are reporting as many as six clubs are looking to sign central defender, with Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley, Hibernian, Sunderland, Nottingham Forest and Belgian side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise all in the running for the man who made 32 appearances in the Scottish Premiership last season.
His performances and 11 clean sheets helped St Johnstone to reach fifth spot in the top tier of Scottish football last term, securing the Saints a chance to play in the Europa League as they enter the third qualifying round.
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But he could miss out on playing in Europe if an interested side moves in for the centre-back.
Hibernian have already had a bid of under £200,000 knocked back by Callum Davidson’s side but are expected to come back with a second bid in their pursuit of McCart, who only has one year left on his current deal at McDiarmid Park.
Meanwhile, Championship sides Barnsley and Nottingham Forest are likely to have the funds available to make this signing happen and are unlikely to be under any restrictive transfer embargo this summer, unlike many other sides in the second tier.
One embargo that is currently putting a halt to a potential deal for McCart is Sheffield Wednesday’s, although light does seem to be appearing at the end of the tunnel at Hillsborough with wage issues being resolved and financial accounts set to be submitted.
Regardless of this, though, Dom Howson believes Wednesday will be focusing on cheap deals this summer.
In a Q&A web chat with an Owls fan who asked about potential signings, Howson said: “They (Sheffield Wednesday) were linked with St Johnstone defender Jamie McCart but I think that is unlikely at this stage.
“St Johnstone have already turned down a £200k bid from Hibernian for him.
“As things stand, Wednesday are mainly focusing on frees and loans.”
Even though there are many good deals to be done in the free agent and loan markets, Darren Moore’s side will have already missed out on a few of their targets because of the embargo that has been hanging over their head for months now.
This makes it interesting to see how well they will do if they stick with the same strategy and fully utilise these markets – but surely Moore and his recruitment team will need at least some transfer funds to pursue a specific player if he fits the system perfectly?
Whilst it’s refreshing to see Wednesday adopt a more pragmatic approach after their point deduction last season for breaking financial rules, they need to strike the right balance between spending and saving – and getting value for money on players will be key.
If they can, they have a real chance of making a bright start in League One.