30.08.2002 Football Transfers

I was a United target, says Owusu

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Sheffield Wednesday striker Lloyd Owusu last night spiced up the city's first derby of the season by revealing that city rivals United made a late bid for his much-coveted services last summer.

Owusu's admission, as he prepares for a highly-charged debut after recovering from a knee problem, underlined the competition that Wednesday manager Terry Yorath faced before signing the free-scoring Brentford marksman.

The 25-year-old Londoner, whose choice raised eyebrows in some quarters, is determined to show that he made the best career decision in rejecting advances from clubs including Leicester, Crystal Palace - and Sheffield United. Owusu, who confirmed his fitness in a midweek friendly, believes the club's darker days are behind them.

He said: 'There were about six clubs interested and I spoke to all of them.'

Owusu also had offers from Stoke, Millwall and Gillingham. What wasn't known - until now - was that, in addition toYorath's winning overtures, there was a stirring from the red and white half of Sheffield.

Owusu didn't volunteer their name but, when the suspicion was put to him, he said: 'I did speak to Neil Warnock. It was in the last few days and it was nothing concrete. It was a nice courtesy call. It was already in place for me to come to Wednesday and my mind was made up.'

With Gerald Sibon suspended, Owusu has the chance to become an instant Hillsborough hero.

He said: 'I wouldn't put myself straight in a team which is playing well. It's a big game, not just another game. I'd rather come off the bench and do something. If I'm asked to start I'll sit down and talk it over with the boss but I'm not expecting it.'

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