Why signing Boro's Clayton on loan would be ideal for Sheffield United

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Bristol City at Bramall Lane on December 8, 2017 in Sheffield, England.

Sheffield United signing Middlesbrough's Adam Clayton on loan could be ideal and could allow them to snap up Southend's Ryan Leonard for free.

Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth and Adam Clayton of Middlesbrough battle for possession during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between AFC Bournemouth and Middlesbrough at Vitality...Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth and Adam Clayton of Middlesbrough battle for possession during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match.

Sheffield United are considering a loan offer for Middlesbrough's Adam Clayton when the transfer window reopens in January, reports the Yorkshire Post.

After starting the season under former manager Garry Monk the midfielder fell out of favour and has played just once in all competitions since October 24.

Tony Pulis the head coachTony Pulis during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea.

It remains to be seen whether Clayton will be in new boss Tony Pulis' plans, but if not then Boro are likely to be open to letting the 28-year-old leave on loan.

This could be the ideal solution for the Blades, who have been struggling for personnel in central midfield following a season-ending injury to Paul Coutts on November 17.

Manager Chris Wilder did admit to the Sheffield Star earlier in December that they still held an interest in Southend United captain Ryan Leonard, whom they had a £500,000 bid rejected for over the summer - as reported by the Independent.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Bristol City at Bramall Lane on December 8, 2017 in Sheffield, England.Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder during the Sky Bet Championship match against Bristol City.

Leonard is out of contract at the end of the season and is interested in a move to the Championship, but Southend do not want to sell and have held firm up until this point.

Therefore a temporary deal for Clayton to fill the void left by Coutts until the summer could be perfect for Wilder, who can then renew his interest - if there is still any - in the Shrimpers skipper once he is on a free transfer.

Lucas Akins of Burton tackles Paul Coutts of Sheffield Utd during the Sky Bet Championship match between Burton Albion and Sheffield United at Pirelli Stadium on November 17, 2017 in...Lucas Akins of Burton tackles Paul Coutts of Sheffield Utd during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Pirelli Stadium.

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