WANDERERS have approached Sheffield United to loan Leon Clarke for the rest of the season.

Phil Parkinson faces stiff competition for the 33-year-old former Wolves striker, with Wigan Athletic said to be at the front of a handful of Championship clubs interested in his services. A decision is expected on Thursday.

Clarke has been made surplus to requirement at Bramall Lane thanks to the loan arrival of ex-Wanderers favourite Gary Madine, who has joined on loan from Premier League Cardiff City.

Wanderers travel to Sheffield United on Saturday and if they win the race for Clarke it is unlikely he will be cleared to face the Blades.

The Birmingham-born front man started off at Wolves and moved on to Sheffield Wednesday in 2007 after a succession of loans.

His career stalled a little at Hillsborough and moves to QPR, Swindon Town and Charlton Athletic failed to pay-off. But a goal-laden spell at Coventry City saw him get back on an upward trajectory, earning a return to Molineux for £750,000.

Clarke had a loan spell at Wigan and then moved on to Bury – then in League One – where he scored 17 times in 37 games.

Chris Wilder then took him to Sheffield United where he has netted 31 times in 91 games including a double against Wednesday in the Steel City derby.