Sheffield United: Blades boss Wilder eyes up two out-of-contract players

Chris Wilder gets stuck in in training
Chris Wilder gets stuck in in training
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Sheffield United are actively exploring two lines of enquiry in the transfer market as Chris Wilder, the League One club’s manager, presses ahead with his overhaul of Bramall Lane’s first team squad.

The Star understands that preliminary discussions have taken place with at least one unattached player who can eligible to join outside of the window while meetings with another could take place later this month.

Wilder, speaking before Sunday’s win at Gillingham, acknowledged United had missed out on “a couple of targets” before last week’s deadline but later described himself as “very content” with their business over the past three months.

“I had a meeting with (chief executive) Stephen Bettis and Carl Shieber (United’s player contract negotiation manager),” he said.

“And, if you look at the squad now, it’s chalk and cheese. We had no centre-halves, we had too many players who were similar and we had no pace in the team.

“We’ve moved players on for good money and shown good business sense in the deals that we’ve done.

“Two lads went, to the Premier League and the Championship, and I think people understand how difficult it is to stand in their way when those offers come in.

“Overall, I think we’ve done well.”

“We’re in much better shape now than we were then in terms of what we have available,” Wilder added, “and the balance there is too.”

Although the arrival of Ethan Ebanks-Landell on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers has filled the vacancy for a right-sided centre-half, Wilder is still thought to believe United would benefit from recruiting another wide midfielder if a suitable candidate can be identified.

The sight of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Che Adams joining Everton and Birmingham City respectively has prompted claims that United’s co-owners effectively orchestrated their sale but Wilder confirmed he had “taken ownership” of the club’s transfer dealings since being appointed in May.

“I’ve been backed by the board,” Wilder continued. “They’ve trusted me and I’ve taken ownership of it. I not going in and said ‘I want him, I want him and forget about the fee.’ I’ve not forgotten about protecting the club if players don’t produce and, to be fair, I get the impression that’s not always been the case in the past.”