FORMER Wanderers striker Gary Madine has joined Sheffield United on loan for the rest of the season from Cardiff.

The 28-year-old helped the Welsh club win promotion last season and will bolster the attacking option for the Blades as they chase a return to the Premier League.

"Gary gives us a physicality at the top of the pitch, tactically he gives us something different, which we'll need in the second part of the season," United boss Chris Wilder said on the club website.

"If you ask any of our centre-halves for their opinion of playing against Gary Madine, they'll all say the same, he's a tough boy to play against.

"He is physical and technically very good too, hopefully he'll be able to get on the end of some of the crosses we put in.

"I'm looking forward to working with Gary, he's won promotion with Bolton and scored goals there.

"And if anyone knows anything about a striker it's our old manager (Neil Warnock), he took a punt on him last season and was part of the Cardiff squad that went up."

Madine had seen his first-team chances with the Bluebirds limited this season, making just five substitute appearances.

The forward, who netted 26 goals in 107 Whites appearances between July 2015 and January 2018, is relishing the opportunity to help the Blades' promotion push, with Wilder's side currently third, but just two points behind second-placed Norwich.

"There were other teams interested, but believe it or not when I knew Sheffield United was interested, I was buzzing and jumped at the chance," Madine said.

"I've played with some of the lads and against them too, I was dying to make the move happen."

Madine came through the youth ranks at Carlisle, and also had a spell at United's rivals Sheffield Wednesday before a permanent move to Bolton in 2015.

"Some people have this perception I don't like Sheffield United, but that's not true," said the former Owls frontman.

"I've had over 20,000 supporters booing me when I've played here before, it's an intimidating place to come and some players would crumble.

"But I've always thought I wouldn't mind being part of that and it is certainly a club on the up, one who play some excellent football."