Big reputations matter so little to Lane chief

Former Blades ace James Beattie
Former Blades ace James Beattie
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DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, last night revealed he would have no qualms signing players with high-maintainence reputations despite insisting “no-one is bigger than the team”.

Wilson recently confirmed he undertakes detailed background checks on all of the South Yorkshire club’s targets before entering the transfer market.

Up in the air: United manager Danny Wilson has had talks with former Blades ace James Beattie, but nothing has been decided so far

Up in the air: United manager Danny Wilson has had talks with former Blades ace James Beattie, but nothing has been decided so far

His comments prompted speculation that Bramall Lane’s new regime has prioritised character over calibre as it looks to re-shape its first team squad.

But Wilson told The Star that handling supposedly intractable footballers is simply “all part of the job”.

“For me, the whole group of players is the most important thing,” he said. “Not one or two individuals.

“But that doesn’t mean to say that we’d shy away from bringing someone in who has a big name or who has got a big profile.

“So long as we felt they’d be able to improve us then that’s the main thing.

“Handling people like that is all part of the job. It’s part of what being a football manager is about.

“It’s not a problem for me.

“Everyone is different and everyone has a different character. Not everyone has to be the same for people to be able to work well together and get along.

“Being professional is the main thing.”

Although he was not referring to James Beattie, those words will inevitably raise suspicions that Wilson is preparing to move for the striker.

Beattie, who scored 34 goals in 65 United appearances earlier in his career, is a free agent after being released by Glasgow Rangers.

However, despite uNITED holding talks with the 33-year-old and his representatives, a number of obstacles must be cleared before Wilson could press ahead with any deal.

Beattie, whose time at Ibrox was blighted by injury, must prove he is fit enough to withstand to rigous of a League One campaign after failing to start a match since April.

United, should Beattie be willing to accept a wage in-keeping with League One, must then satisfy themselves that, with him not having hit the target in any of his previous 34 outings, their thinking is not being clouded by sentiment.

With a number of high earners already on the pay roll, Beattie’s presence could affect United’s business during the January transfer window.

Wilson must decide whether to recall Richard Cresswell for Saturday’s meeting with Charlton Athletic.

Danny Philliskirk could also be handed a chance to impress in night’s reserve fixture against Walsall at Bramall Lane (kick-off 7pm).