DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, last night told Jordan Slew it would have been in his best interests to remain at Bramall Lane rather than join Blackburn Rovers.
The striker, one of the stars of United’s march into the 2011 FA Youth Cup final, is expected to be officially unveiled by the Premiership club early next week.
Although Wilson insisted he does not harbour a personal grievance towards the player - “From my point of view I would’ve liked to have worked with him more” - he stood by previous assertions that a prolonged period in South Yorkshire would have been more beneficial for his career.
Slew recently agreed a new contract with United after being courted by Fulham during the close season.
“My stance has not changed,” said Wilson. “I think he would have been better off staying with us.
“But staying was not an option.
“It all happened at the eleventh hour.
“What we’ve done is try to maximise the situation as best we can to our advantage.
“Exactly the same as anyone else would do.”
Slew’s £1m move to Ewood Park was initially delayed because Rovers failed to process the necessary paperwork before Wednesday’s 11pm deadline.
Complex negotiations with Birmingham City relating to their purchase of Neil Dann are understood to have caused the delay although United, who also sold Daniel Bogdanovic to Blackpool, yesterday received confirmation it had been ratified by the FA Premier League.
With sales inevitable after being relegated to League One - “There’s no secret. The reason is financial” - Wilson’s disappointment at seeing Slew depart was more than tempered by the board’s decision to reject offers for influential midfielder Stephen Quinn.
While Rovers launched what, according to one source, was an “eleventh hour raid” for the centre-forward, The Star understands than United, despite previous claims to the contrary, had been aware of interest in Quinn since earlier this month.
Having captured Bogdanovic, Blackpool submitted another bid, believed to have been worth around £250,000, for the 25-year-old which Wilson dismissed as derisory.
That proved the catalyst for at least two more unnamed Championship clubs to enter the race for Quinn’s services.
However United, who were last night still attempting to push through loans for Glasgow Rangers duo John Fleck and Kyle Hutton, held firm.
Wilson refused to divulge the identities of Quinn’s suitors but said: “I’m delighted that Quinny is still here.
“Totally delighted because he’s absolutely pivotal to what we are doing.
“It was a scandalous offer we received.
“It really was.
“It wasn’t even worth a phone call back but we’re all chuffed to bits he’s here with us.
“Quinny didn’t speak to them.
“It didn’t even get that far.”
United’s ability to retain Quinn’s services could prove a defining moment of their campaign.
A former Republic of Ireland under-21 international, he has been one of the driving forces behind a run of results which sees Wilson’s side entertain Bury tomorrow third in the table and unbeaten in League One competition this term.
United, who qualified for the second round of the JP Trophy courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Burton Albion on Tuesday, are expected to bolster their options during the emergency loan window shortly.
Albeit in a more considered manner than has previously been the case with temporary acquisitions now viewed as a means of embellishing rather than building a squad.
“We will be looking to the loan market,” said Wilson.
“If you look at the performance against Burton, I think it was a little bit loose in parts which tells you that’s what we need.
“We gave some of the lads a rest and Lecsinel (Jean-Francois) sat it out because he’s that close to a suspension.
“That will definitely happen at some point and there’s no avoiding it.”