Blackpool are yet to hold discussions with Sheffield United about extending Ben Heneghan’s stay but Simon Grayson says he would very much like to keep the defender at the club.
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The centre-back’s loan deal runs out in January. However, the 26-year-old is out of favour with the Premier League Blades, who placed him on the transfer list in the summer.
There were no takers for Heneghan on a permanent deal, despite plenty of speculation, and the former Motherwell man ended up returning to Bloomfield Road for a second loan spell.
He has impressed again in 12 appearances so far this season and it is no surprise that Pool want to keep him.
However, Heneghan is out of contract at the end of the season and Sheffield United may want a fee.
When asked by The Gazette if Blackpool could look to extend Heneghan’s loan, Grayson said: “Those conversations are ones we’d like to have down the line, although it might be sooner rather than later.
“We’ve had plenty of meetings over the last few weeks about recruitment and what we’re going to do for January.
“You want to try to keep good players and Ben certainly fits into that category.
“I think there are plenty of things to consider: one, what are Sheffield United wanting to do? Two, what is Ben looking to do? Three, what are we looking to do?
“But I think you can rule in that we’d like to take Ben but we’ll have to discuss with the relevant parties.”
On leaving the Fylde coast last summer, after a successful season-long loan, Heneghan spoke publicly about his desire to play in the Championship.
But despite reported interest from Hull City and Reading, a move never materialised. Upon returning to Blackpool at the end of August, Heneghan had to wait for his chance due to the good form of Ryan Edwards and Curtis Tilt.
But he is now a regular starter and won the club’s player of the month award for October.
“He’s been very consistent,” Grayson added. “He’s a good character and a good person to have around the building. But he’s also got good qualities – that’s why we brought him back to the club.
“He did well for us last year and he’s got back into the team, having had to be patient to start with, but when you perform consistently it makes my job easier because you pick your good players when they’re playing well.”