STUART McCall today shot down the suggestion that James Hanson will be coming back to Valley Parade in January.

Rumours have been rife that the club's third-highest goal-scorer could be poised for a return on loan from Sheffield United.

City have made it clear they will be in the market for another targetman in the next transfer window as cover for Charlie Wyke.

But McCall has once again insisted that reports it will be Hanson are well wide of the mark.

He said: "That's people putting two and two together and coming up with 78.

"We are looking for someone in James Hanson's mould. You don't have to be 6ft 3in, just somebody with a bit of physicality that we might have to throw on.

"I'm not dissing James as a player in any way but there's absolutely nothing to the story."

Hanson, who turns 30 on Thursday, is understood to be growing increasingly frustrated with a lack of involvement for the Blades this season.

He has played less than an hour since they went up, limping off with a muscle injury in the Carabao Cup against Walsall.

Hanson, who has made 14 appearances with one goal, is now fully fit again – with the club believing they have finally got to the bottom of the calf and hamstring issues that have plagued him in the last few years.

He was on the Sheffield United bench at QPR last Tuesday but his hopes of getting on disappeared when keeper Jamal Blackman went off injured in the first ten minutes. He was then not in the squad for the 4-1 win over Hull at the weekend.

After signing from City last season, Hanson formed an effective partnership alongside Billy Sharp as the Blades stormed to the League One title.

But with Leon Clarke currently in a sensational run of form, scoring all four in their latest victory, he finds himself well down the list of manager Chris Wilder's attacking options and a January exit is looking increasingly likely to find regular first-team football again.

Scunthorpe made a bid, thought to be around £200,000, just before the August deadline and are expected to head the queue again should Hanson be made available.

City will reshuffle their own frontline for tonight's final Checkatrade Trophy group game against Rotherham.

Dominic Poleon returns after three weeks out with a tight hamstring, while Omari Patrick and Shay McCartan will also be involved.