Could Preston North End's player of the year fill Sheffield Wednesday's void?

Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal

By their own manager's admission, the Owls find themselves short at left-back.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos CarvalhalSheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal is seeking defensive reinforcements

By Carlos Carvalhal's own admission - Sheffield Wednesday are short at left-back.

Jeremy Helan (farmed out to Wolves last season) and Marnick Vermijl (Preston) shared the responsibility at Alfreton Town on Wednesday - despite the latter being a very one-footed right-back.

A permanent deal for last year's loan star Daniel Pudil appears no closer to completion, with the Watford man flying back to the Czech Republic this week with his family in tow.

Sheffield Wednesday's Daniel Pudil waves to fansFormer Wednesday loanee Daniel Pudil is yet to return

The Hornets are said to want £2 million for the soon-to-be 31-year-old, which Wednesday, understandably, are seemingly reluctant to pay.

And with three-and-a-bit weeks until their season opener at home to Aston Villa, you'd expect the Owls to be exploring plan B by now.

Step forward Greg Cunningham.

The Preston North End defender recently entered the final year of his contract, though according to the Lancashire Evening Post the offer of a new one is yet to materialise - despite him winning the club's player of the year award last term.

HITC reported interest from Aston Villa on Wednesday, but with Jordan Amavi, Aly Cissokho and Joe Bennett (incidentally, a former Wednesday loanee) already on their books a deal seems unlikely at this stage.

Blackburn Rovers' Elliott Bennett and Preston's Greg Cunningham in actionPreston's Greg Cunningham (right)

Wolves and Blackburn are also said to be keen, though Wednesday could surge to the front of the queue if they wanted to - by offering Vermijl as bait.

The LEP reported last month that Simon Grayson's side were continuing to monitor the Belgian following a productive campaign at Deepdale, and with Jack Hunt and Liam Palmer on the books Wednesday are unlikely to offer too much resistance.

And Cunningham's path to Hillsborough could be further paved by the arrival of ex-Owl Tommy Spurr from Blackburn, whose best position is left full-back.

Tommy Spurr of Sheffield Wednesday (R) and Aidan Thomas of Hereford in actionNew Preston signing Tommy Spurr in his Wednesday days (right)

Everyone wins this way... except, perhaps, Daniel Pudil.

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