Sheffield United: Blades face battle with Bolton to land Byron Webster

Millwall's Byron Webster tusles with United's Ryan Flynn  at The Den last season.  Photo: David Klein/Sportimage
Millwall's Byron Webster tusles with United's Ryan Flynn at The Den last season. Photo: David Klein/Sportimage
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Sheffield United and Bolton Wanderers could be set to battle it out for Millwall’s Byron Webster during the January transfer window.

Chris Wilder’s side are thought to retain an interest in signing the defender after having bids, reportedly worth £250,000 and £500,000, rejected by the London club earlier this term.

But Wanderers, managed by Wilder’s former Southampton team mate Phil Parkinson, have also been monitoring Webster’s situation at The Den in recent weeks and will enter the race for his services if Millwall’s hierarchy decide to sell.

United, who thumped Chesterfield 4-1 yesterday, recently began drafting plans to bolster the options at Wilder’s disposal after making a strong start to the campaign. Further talks between Bramall Lane’s board of directors and the 49-year-old’s coaching staff are expected to take place shortly with Wilder making no secret of the fact he wants at least two “like for like” players competing for every position in his squad.

Despite failing to secure his release before August’s deadline, United were encouraged by the fact that sources in the capital claimed Webster is keen to finish his career in the north of England. Their hand is likely to have been strengthened by Millwall’s chequered results since reaching the play-off final last season. But Neil Harris’ side climbed to ninth - seven points behind third-placed United - after beating Bristol Rovers last weekend.

Wilder, speaking before the visit to the Proact Stadium, acknowledged both he and head of recruitment Paul Mitchell have already drawn-up a list of potential targets to prevent United’s push for promotion being hijacked by injury and other selection issues.

“Maybe it’s something we have to look at in January,” he said. “Just to stiffen the group up a little bit.”

Ethan Ebanks-Landell, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, is also likely to be the subject of a bid. Kevin Thelwell, Molineux’s sporting director, has indicated that a decision on whether fellow centre-half Richard Stearman remains in the Black County will be taken shortly.

His arrival, on a temporary basis from Fulham, effectively triggered Ebanks-Landell’s departure although Thelwell denied Wolves are planning a “big turnover” following Paul Lambert’s appointment as manager.