Blades are interested in signing Leeds United skipper Pearce

Jason Pearce
Jason Pearce
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LEEDS UNITED captain Jason Pearce has been linked with a move to Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United – whose manager Nigel Clough has confirmed his interest in the defender.

The Blades are keen to boost their defensive ranks following the departure of Harry Maguire to Hull City, with Pearce figuring high on Clough’s wish-list.

Clough admits that financing any prospective deal for Pearce would represent a considerable outlay for the League One club, but he is not ruling out the prospect of a successful move for the 26-year-old.

That said, it remains to be seen whether Leeds – who yesterday completed the expected signing of Danish international midfielder Casper Sloth for an undisclosed six-figure sum from AGF Aarhus – would entertain the prospect of doing any business regarding the former Portsmouth man, an ever-present this term and one of the club’s more consistent players during the 2013-14 campaign.

Clough, who has also not ruled out trying to persuade Hull to loan back Maguire to Bramall Lane – with any prospective deal likely to hinge on the Tigers’ involvement in Europe – said: “We have looked at him (Pearce) certainly, yes.

But I think he will be a bit beyond us with his contract at Leeds.

“Being a Championship player and what they’d want for him might be a bit beyond us. But yes, we’d like Jason Pearce.

“It is going be difficult to tempt a club to let somebody go who is currently in the first team. But we are trying to do that, if necessary.”

Following the signing of Sloth on a three-year contract, subject to international clearance, United are expected to turn their attentions towards landing 20-year-old Brazilian play-maker Adryan.

Sloth has become the 12th summer signing at Elland Road, with Leeds having agreed terms of a three-year deal with the Aarhus schemer, who has made eight appearances for Denmark, late last week.

United are thought to have paid around £600,000 to land the midfielder.

The 22-year-old played over 130 times for Aarhus, relegated from the Danish top-flight last season and made his debut for the national team in a friendly game in Istanbul against Turkey in November 2012.

The previous month, Sloth was named as the Danish Superliga’s Player of the Month.

The midfielder, capped many times at youth level for the Danes, appeared for Denmark in their friendly clash against England at Wembley in March, when he impressed, despite a 1-0 defeat for Morten Olsen’s side.

United are understood to have beaten off interest from French Ligue 1 side Evian to sign him.

After the capture of Sloth, United president Massimo Cellino and sporting director Nicola Salerno have now set their sights on attempting to persuade Flamengo to cut short Adryan’s loan at Cagliari and send him to England.

Meanwhile, League One outfit Oldham Athletic have been linked with a swoop for former United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny.

The 36-year-old recently left Leeds by mutual consent, with an agreement reached with Kenny, who had a year left on his Elland Road deal.

Talks have reportedly taken place between the Latics and Kenny’s representatives.

Ex-Whites keeper Paul Rachubka is the current number one at Boundary Park.

United have announced they won’t be appealing against Sam Byram’s red card incurred in the 4-1 defeat at Watford.