A deal to bring Tony Pulis to Sheffield Wednesday is ‘nearing completion’, as reported by the well-connected Alan Biggs on Thursday.

Pulis would succeed Garry Monk as Wednesday manager and be tasked with steering the Owls away from the Championship’s bottom three.

With the transfer window closed and seven weeks to go until the next one, the Welshman will have to make use of the free-agent market if he wants to strengthen the squad he inherited from Monk – who was also his Middlesbrough predecessor.

As it happens, there are a handful of players on it that Pulis has – reportedly at least – tried to sign beforehand.

Could any of these do a job for Wednesday?

Tom Huddlestone

England v Portugal - UEFA Under-21 Championship
LONDON – SEPTEMBER 05: Gabby Agbonlahor of England celebrates with team mates after scoring his teams second goal of the game during the UEFA Under 21 Championship Qualifying match between England and the Portugal at Wembley Stadium on September 5, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Without a club since leaving Derby County at the end of last season, Huddlestone is a player whom Pulis is said to have pursued on more than one occasion – at both Stoke City (Telegraph) and West Bromwich Albion (Sun). The defensive midfielder boasts physical and technical qualities of which the Owls are currently short – that said, he has appeared just twice since October 2019 and turns 34 next month. Another former Hull City midfielder, Kevin Stewart, was also a rumoured target for the Baggies, who were put off, allegedly, by his £5 million asking price (Sun).

Ahmed Musa

Algeria v Nigeria - 2019 African Cup of Nations
Ahmed Musa of Nigeria during the 2019 African Cup of Nations match between Algeria and Nigeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo, Egypt on July 14,2019. (Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Pulis was apparently ready to step up his interest in Musa towards the end of his West Brom tenure in August 2017 (Birmingham Mail). A move failed to materialise, however, with the Baggies turning instead to the now-Sheffield United winger Oliver Burke. The Nigerian was sold to Al-Nassr by his then employers Leicester City for around £15 million a year later – representing a loss of around £2.5m for the Foxes. 25 goals or assists in 57 games later, Musa is free to a good home and the 28-year-old’s pace, trickery and versatility could make him a useful addition to the Wednesday attack. Given his release came after the window closed for English clubs, the Owls would have to wait until January before they could play him.

Diafra Sakho

FC St. Gallen v Neuchatel Xamax FCS - Swiss Raiffeisen Super League
ST GALLEN, SWITZERLAND – JULY 31: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Diafra Sakho of Neuchatel Xamax controls the ball during the Raiffeisen Super League match between FC St. Gallen and Neuchatel Xamax FCS at Kybunpark on July 31, 2020 in St Gallen, Switzerland. (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

It was claimed that West Brom got as close as agreeing a fee for Sakho when Pulis was in charge and the Senegalese was a West Ham United player (Sky Sports). For whatever reason, the move never happened. Sakho, now 30, was sold to Rennes for £9m later that season, but is now without a club after spells at Bursaspor (loan) and Neuchâtel Xamax. Goals have been in short supply post-West Ham, but Sakho’s pace and presence could come in handy at Hillsborough.

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