The Sheffield Wednesday caretaker manager, Lee Bullen, does not believe that the Bristol City and Huddersfield Town linked striker, Lucas Joao, has submitted a transfer request at Hillsborough.
The Sun reported this week that Joao is disappointed after Wednesday turned down bids from two unnamed Championship rivals and feels he is being overvalued by the Owls’ £8 million asking price.
But asked to comment on the rumour, Bullen told BBC Radio Sheffield on Thursday: “I spoke to him. I don’t believe he has (asked to leave), but again I’m reading social media and everything like that.
“There’s always going to be speculation when one club has six strikers (like Wednesday). It doesn’t hold any fears for me, that.
“Lucas is a positive member of the group. He knows the group inside-out . He loves it at the club. I’ve not got anything definite to say about it, other than the rumours I’ve heard.
“I’ve spoken to the lad and he’s happy in pre-season.”
Huddersfield were credited with an interest in Joao earlier in the summer, while Bristol City – against whom the Portugal cap scored three goals last season – emerged as suitors earlier this week.
But the latter club have again been linked with the West Ham United striker, Jordan Hugill, since then.
Bullen, who has stepped in following Monday’s resignation of Steve Bruce, Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, also told the radio station that there is nothing imminent on the transfer front.
Sheffield Wednesday concluded deals for Julian Börner, Moses Odubajo and Kadeem Harris earlier this month, while the former Brentford midfielder, Josh McEachran, is currently training with the Owls.
Bullen said McEachran has “done really well” so far, and insisted there are no issues “technically” with the Chelsea-schooled player.
But whether or not he earns a permanent contract at Hillsborough will depend on the physical side of things and how well he “fits in”, not forgetting Wednesday’s financial capabilities.
Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town and Bristol City will all have realistic aspirations to achieve promotion this season.