Sheffield United: Blades keeping tabs on Welsh defender

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Sheffield United have been monitoring defender James Wilson, The Star understands, as manager Chris Wilder presses ahead with his makeover of the League One club’s squad.

Shrewsbury Town, Rochdale and Leyton Orient are also thought to be keeping tabs on the former Wales international as he prepares to leave Oldham Athletic.

Wilder began his overhaul of the playing staff he inherited from predecessor Nigel Adkins by signing Mark Duffy and Chris Hussey from Birmingham City and Bury respectively last month. A centre-half is now known to be United’s top priority in the transfer market following the departures of Jay McEveley, David Edgar and Alex Baptiste at the end of the previous campaign.

Wilson, aged 27, started his career with Bristol City before joining Brentford and Cheltenham Town on loan.

Capped by his country at under-19, under-21 and senior levels, the Chepstow born defender made over 100 appearances for Athletic after arriving at Boundary Park in January 2014.

Wilder is known to have identified several potential targets, including MK Dons defender Kyle McFadzean, as he bids to strengthen a rearguard which conceded 59 times in league competition under his predecessor. But it remains to be seen whether United will consolidate their interest in Wilson, who lifted the League Two title during his spell at Griffin Park, or pursue the remaining options on Wilder’s wanted list.