Sheffield United: Blades are in the market for a new goalkeeper

Simon Moore is Sheffield United's first choice goalkeeper. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Simon Moore is Sheffield United's first choice goalkeeper. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, is poised to step-up his attempt to sign a new goalkeeper before the Championship season begins in August.

The decision is likely to mean George Long, who spent most of last term on the bench, will be allowed to leave Bramall Lane on loan after losing his place to Simon Moore.

Sheffield United's Chris Wilder with the League One title. Pic David Klein/Sportimage

Sheffield United's Chris Wilder with the League One title. Pic David Klein/Sportimage

Long is understood to have been informed he could depart during talks with a member of United’s coaching staff following the club’s League One title triumph. Although there has been no fall-out between the pair - Wilder described Long’s attitude as “absolutely first class” earlier this year - he recognises the former England youth international is unlikely to benefit from another prolonged period out of the starting eleven at such a critical stage of his career.

The Star understands that an unnamed club, also thought to be in the South Yorkshire/North Midlands region, was offered the chance to meet with the 23-year-old at the end of the previous campaign.

Moore has impressed since joining from Cardiff City 11 months ago. Wilder, however, has already demonstrated his desire to increase competition levels within his squad by recruiting Enda Stevens and George Baldock in recent weeks. The defenders, signed from Portsmouth and MK Dons respectively, will challenge Daniel Lafferty and Kieron Freeman when United return to action in six-and-a-half weeks time.

Long accepted Wilder’s offer of a revised contract last summer. A graduate of United’s Steelphalt Academy youth programme, he has completed temporary spells with Oxford United and Motherwell since making his senior debut, against Swansea City, in 2011.

George Long (left) could be loaned-out next season

George Long (left) could be loaned-out next season