On Tuesday, the Derbyshire Telegraph reported the popular winger would be allowed to leave Derby on a free as Steve McClaren looks to ring the changes for a fresh promotion push next season.
Although the news came as shock to Derby fans, it prompted fans other clubs – notably the Sheffield-based duo – to put him on their summer wishlist.
Jamie ward on a free I'd have him at hillsborough good player on his day #swfc— Sean hunt (@seanieowl08) May 5, 2015
Would love it if we get Jamie Ward in! Despite him being an ex-pig #swfc— Luke (@lukemac93) May 5, 2015
Jamie Ward has been released by Derby. Dare I say he'd do a job for #swfc despite his past dalliances across the city?— Liam Hoden (@liamhoden) May 5, 2015
Would Jamie Ward be a good signing for either the Owls or the Blades?
The Northern Ireland international started the season in fantastic form, with five goals in six games, and subsequently signed a new deal with the East Midlands after proving his worth.
He continued to be a regular fixture in the Derby side, despite competition from Jordon Ibe, Simon Dawkins and Johnny Russell, until an injury in October derailed his season completely.
He missed roughly two months of the season and has since struggled to get a foothold in the team, which has undoubtedly led to his availability following the Rams’ failure to make the play-offs.
Although McClaren has decided to look elsewhere, there are few more proven wingers available in the Championship than Ward and he would be a good signing for any side in the division or looking to get into the division.
Nigel Clough, who paid relatively big money to be reunited with John Brayford, had a similar affiliation with Ward in his time at Derby and could look to push the boat out in order to get him signed.
Stuart Gray, however, would see the winger as a shrewd signing considering the amount of players that have left the club at the end of their contract.