Leeds United have been knocked back in their quest to sign Stoke City striker Cameron Jerome – and are now looking at alternative loan forward targets.
United boss Neil Warnock made a renewed move to bring in the Huddersfield-born frontman yesterday, (Nov 12) but his advances were rebuffed by Potters counterpart Tony Pulis amid ongoing fitness concerns regarding Michael Owen.
It’s a blow that Warnock could have done without after being close to sealing a deal to sign Jerome ahead of Saturday’s Championship clash with Watford.
The former Liverpool and England star has missed the Potters’ last two Premiership games and played just 54 minutes of top-flight football in four substitute appearances since joining the Midlands outfit in early September.
A contributory factor to the Jerome no-go is that the City forward line have also been struggling for goals in 2012-13, having plundered just five between them in 11 league games.
Coupled with the ongoing uncertainty regarding Owen, Pulis is currently reluctant to let Jerome go out on loan ahead of the emergency loan window deadline in 10 days time, especially with no recall clause on the first month of any initial temporary deal.
Jerome is believed to have been Warnock’s no.1 striking target, with the 26-year-old having also interested several other Championship clubs this autumn.
Wolves have been watching the former Cardiff City forward’s situation closely, while Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers are also known admirers.
Jerome is known to be desperate for some game-time, according to sources close to the player, after a frustrating season thus far in the Potteries which has seen him make just three substitute appearances and one start in the Capital One Cup.
Meanwhile, United are awaiting news regarding their appeal against the red card shown to influential defender Jason Pearce in Saturday’s heavy 6-1 loss to the Hornets.
Pearce was given his marching orders for a late challenge on Hornets rival Matej Vydra, but after reviewing the video evidence, United believe they have a case for the dismissal to be rescinded.
That said, the club run the risk of the FA possibly increasing Pearce’s three-match ban by an extra game if they decide the appeal is frivolous, which would potentially rule him out of the West Yorkshire derby against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium on December 1.
On the initial decision to dismiss Pearce, Warnock said: “His foot did not come off the floor and he has genuinely gone for the ball and I was disappointed.
“I thought it was a very poor decision and it changed the game.”
Tom Lees is hoping to sample more international fare this evening in England U21’s friendly clash with Northern Ireland at Bloomfield Road, having linked up with the Three Lions following a quicker-than-expected recovery from the eye injury he sustained at Brighton and Hove Albion the previous Friday.
The injury forced him to miss the midweek clash with Burnley and he returned as a first-half substitute following the dismissal of Pearce against Watford on Saturday.
Lees has already been capped twice by the U21s.
United youngsters Dom Poleon and Zac Thompson have been named in the League One of the Week after impressive performances in Bury’s 2-0 home victory over Portsmouth.
The pair are currently on loan at Kevin Blackwell’s Shakers, unbeaten in their past five league games.