Nigel Adkins is preparing for a day of brinkmanship in the transfer market after refusing to call time on his pursuit of Sheffield United’s leading targets.
Adkins, the South Yorkshire club’s manager, is thought to have drawn-up a list of three potential acquisitions ahead of tonight’s 11pm deadline for new signings as he attempts to reinvigorate its push for Championship football next term.
Senior figures at Bramall Lane remain hopeful at least one, thought to be defender Dan Burn, will arrive before the window closes after Fulham unveiled Austrian defender Michael Madl but it remains unclear whether negotiations for the other two have reached an advanced stage.
Adkins, who is understood to have received reassurances from his board of directors that United are not under pressure to sell any of their leading names following Jamie Murphy’s departure earlier this term, told The Star: “It’s got to be right right ones. Because we’ve got a group that’s together, has a spirit and that can take you a hell of a long way. We still believe we can achieve something this season.”
United, still seventh in the League One table following last weekend’s round of matches, are known to have submitted at least three six figures bids for Burn following Adkins’ appointment seven months ago and were on the verge of capturing the 23-year-old until an injury crisis at Craven Cottage saw the deal collapse. Fulham, however, are now operating under a transfer embargo after reporting a financial loss following their relegation from the Premier League and will be forced to part company with players if Slaviša Jokanović wants to overhaul the options at his disposal. Madl’s arrival from Sturm Graz means the Serb now has five established centre-halves in his squad with United hoping that, coupled with the fact Burn’s contract expires this summer, will persuade them to accept what has privately been described as a very significant” offer. Burn’s colleague Shaun Hutchinson has also been linked with a move away from London.
Adkins, who is also believed to be considering additions in midfield and attack, has made no secret of the fact he wants to trim the size of United’s playing staff with those unable to secure regular places in his matchday plans being encouraged to accept loans elsewhere.