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Clough gets his man - Brayford signs

24 January 2014

Nigel Clough has expressed his delight following confirmation that Cardiff City defender John Brayford has joined the Blades on-loan for the remainder of the season.

United have fought off fierce competition for the signature of the 26-year-old, including serious interest from clubs in the Championship, but a mutual admiration between Clough and the player himself convinced the former Crewe man to pen a deal at Bramall Lane.

Of the addition of Brayford, who can operate in various positions, the Blades boss beamed: "This is a major coup for us because, believe me, John could have easily moved to teams in the division above.

"But we have a fantastic professional relationship and after long discussions, we have convinced him this was an ideal place for him to ply his trade for the rest of the season.

"We know exactly what we are bringing in with John, he is a great professional. He was absolutely tremendous for us at both Burton Albion and Derby County and he certainly deserved his move to the Premiership last summer.

"We must also thank Cardiff City for helping make this loan happen, because without their assistance it wouldn't have been possible for us to get the deal over the line."

Brayford started his career with the Brewers during Clough's time as manager and after making over 80 appearances in all competitions, Crewe Alexandra paid around £100,000 for his services.

The England C international made an instant impact at Gresty Road, despite the Alex being relegated, Brayford won the Fans' Player of the Year award and attracted interest from several bigger clubs.

Close to a 100 appearances later and with Clough now in charge at Pride Park, the Rams moved for Brayford in May 2010, with the versatile defender penning a three-year contract after the clubs agreed an undisclosed fee.

In July 2013 the newly promoted Bluebirds paid County £1.5 million for Brayford, who has made two cup appearances for the Welsh outfit this term.

International clearance was received on Friday - he is available for Sunday's FA Cup tie with Fulham and is United's second signing of the day following the capture of Stefan Scougall on a permanent.

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