Leeds to snatch Sunderland star from Sheffield Wednesday’s grasp

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Brian McDermott is ready to stick one in the eye of Leeds’ Yorkshire rivals, Sheffield Wednesday, by snatching Connor Wickham away from the Owls on loan.

Wednesday had hoped to seal a third loan deal of the season for the former Ipswich striker, but could be scuppered in their plans to bring him back to Hillsbrough by Leeds’ interest.

The Whites are seven points off the playoff spots in the Championship and sit as 33/1 longshots to be promoted this season. But with hope of a return to the top-flight still alive, the Elland Road club are keen to recruit striking firepower in order to ease the pressure on Ross McCormack.

McCormack is the division’s top scorer this season with 22 goals and considering that equates to over 50 percent of Leeds’ league scoring output this term, it’s clear he needs a hand.

Wickham’s success at Wednesday this season – he scored nine times in 18 appearances over the course of his two spells with the Owls – makes him an attractive proposition for McDermott and should he impress in the final third of the season, could land a permanent move to The Whites.

That would certainly appeal to the England U21 international, who was recalled to permanent club Sunderland towards the end of January to cover Steven Fletcher’s injury.

Wickham, who cost the Stadium of Light side £8m from Ipswich, has made just two Black Cats appearances since then and is surplus to requirements again now Fletcher is back and Ignacio Scocco arrived from Argentina.

With Leeds fighting for a playoff spot, which they’re 20/1 to land, and Wednesday seemingly clear of relegation thanks in part to Wickham’s contribution, the Hereford native could well plump for the more challenging end to the season with Leeds.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.