One of Sheffield Wednesday’s Yorkshire rivals intended on signing striker George Hirst, according to the Owls’ Chairman Dejphon Chansiri.
In January Wednesday began talks with Hirst’s representatives with the aim of tieing the 18-year-old down to a new contract at Hillsborough, however the youngster rejected a new long-term contract which would have seen him enter the history books with Wednesday by becoming the best-paid player at his age group.
Having failed to come to a conclusion over a new contract, Hirst has failed to feature for the Owls in any competitions with his only outings coming with the England under-19s squad.
A report in the Sheffield Star says that Fleetwood Town and Mansfield Town expressed interest in the summer over taking Hirst on a season-long loan, with both teams willing to cover all of his wages on his new contract, however the Owls chairman also revealed that one of their nearby rivals also expressed interest in taking the striker permanently.
“We have tried over and over again to negotiate to extend the contract of George Hirst but each offer has been turned down.” Chansiri said. “We were categorically informed just before the closure of the transfer window in August 2017 that “George will not be signing a new deal at the club.”
“Coincidentally, the notification that George would not be signing for SWFC came just over an hour after we had turned down an offer from a Premier League club for the permanent transfer of George’s registration.
“Of course, this made us wonder if there were talks taking place with regards to George’s future which we were not party to. Two other clubs had also showed an interest in the permanent transfer of George during the summer transfer window, one being a nearby rival in the Championship. ”
This could be a reference to one of the Owls nearby contenders in the League standings. However it is more likely that one of Sheffield Wednesday’s Yorkshire rivals – most likely either Leeds United, Sheffield United, Rotherham United or Barnsley – wanted to try and sign the potential star for the future.