No loan for Sunderland striker Wickham

STAYING PUT ... Sunderland's Connor Wickham.
STAYING PUT ... Sunderland's Connor Wickham.
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CONNOR Wickham will not be allowed to leave Sunderland on loan ahead of a busy December fixture list, manager Martin O’Neill has told the Echo, writes Graeme Anderson.

The England Under-21 international has been the subject of intense speculation that he was set to move to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.

And while O’Neill did confirm the Owls interest, he has decided it will lead to nothing.

“Sheffield Wednesday did make an approach for him and apparently it was reported that we couldn’t agree the wage structure but nothing could be further from the truth.

“I didn’t know about that claim and I wouldn’t have been party to that.

“The reality is that I was asked by our chief executive if I would be prepared to let a deal go through and I said that we couldn’t afford to let anyone go.

“We had just let David Meyler out to get games and I don’t like to let players go out in pairs if they’re on the fringes of the first team.

“In terms of Connor, it could have been on a few weeks ago when Sheffield Wednesday first got in touch.

“But we have a spate of games coming up here which he would miss and we don’t have the back-up to allow him to do that.”