TRANMERE are hopeful of reaching agreement with Sheffield Wednesday to extend Liam Palmer’s loan until the end of the season.
The 21-year-old midfielder, who has made himself a regular choice at the heart of the midfield through the first half of the season, is playing under an arrangement that is due to run out in the first week in January.
Manager Ronnie Moore had productive talks with Owls officials this week. Moore said: “We have spoken to Sheffield Wednesday about Palmer and we are hopeful it will be agreed he will be here until the end of the season.”
Securing Palmer’s services will be a significant step forward for Moore as he seeks to shape his small, table-topping squad for the second half of the League One campaign.
Palmer’s central midfield partnership with James Wallace formed the beating heart of Rovers’ surge to the summit of the division.
Wallace, sidelined for the last two games with a medial ligament injury, is hoping to return to action in the Boxing Day game against Crewe Alexandra at Prenton Park, with Moore suggesting tomorrow’s visit to Swindon Town may be a game too early for the skipper.
Moore said: “Liam has been tremendous for us. He’s had a little bit more freedom while Wallace isn’t playing and got himself forward into attacking positions.
“There’s no reason why Palmer can’t do that when Wallace plays and we are hopeful that he will. It will add something to his game.
Tranmere are also hopeful Middlesbrough will allow Ben Gibson to return to Prenton Park in a fresh loan arrangement once the 19-year-old centre back has recovered from a groin problem.
The injury cut short Gibson’s loan through the first half of the season.
Middlesbrough secured Gibson’s long-term future by signing the player on a four-year contract this week. Moore says he has received favourable feedback from Boro boss Tony Mowbray about Gibson’s progress.
“I would like to keep them here,” Moore said. “Tony thinks highly of the lad and he has been complimentary about the way we have brought him on as a player.
“I’m pleased with Ben and how quickly he has stepped up with us this season. We know Ben can play at this level with his eyes closed.”