Sheffield United: Blades keen to keep duo

Jamie Murphy
Jamie Murphy
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Sheffield United have warned clubs intent on exploiting their failure to win promotion last season it would be a grave mistake to view them as a soft touch in the transfer market.

Contrary to reports, The Star can reveal that officials at Bramall Lane have not received any bids for either Jamie Murphy or Matthew Done following May’s play-off semi-final defeat by Swindon Town.

Nigel Adkins

Nigel Adkins

But United and new manager Nigel Adkins are aware of teams, including Wigan Athletic, who are keen on exploring the possibility of luring them away from South Yorkshire.

“We know people are looking at them,” a United source acknowleged. “We can’t stop that, and, of course, we do it to people elsewhere.

“It doesn’t mean we want to lose them, though. We’re ambitious, as Nigel’s appointment shows.”

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Adkins is scheduled to meet the squad he inherited after taking over the reins nearely four weeks ago for the first time at the Redtooth Academy later this morning.

United’s senior professionals are set to undergo a series of medical tests, overseen by the 50-year-old and his coaching staff, before travelling to a spa resort in the south-west of England for a brief behind-closed-doors training camp.

Murphy was handed an improved deal earlier this year in a bid to stave off interest in the former Scotland under-21 international and, like Done, emerged as a driving force behind United’s push for the Championship last term.

Fulham and Leeds are believed to be among the three Championship clubs monitoring Murphy’s situation closely, although, as United emphasised last night, no contact has been made.

“It wouldn’t be welcome either,” the source said.

Adkins has been granted a free hand to reshape the options at his disposal.

Lee Turnbull, United’s chief scout and head of recruitment, is being tasked with applying the finishing touches to the wanted list. Turnbull, who arrived from Scunthorpe on Friday, was responsible for delivering the likes of Gary Hooper and Martin Paterson to Glanford Park where Adkins achieved two promotions.

He joins Andy Crosby, Dean Wilkins, Darren Ward and Chris Morgan on United’s backroom staff.