SHEFFIELD UNITED: Blades set for Nick Blackman swoop

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DANNY Wilson could step up his interest in striker Nick Blackman before Sheffield United’s cup tie with Burton Albion on Saturday as the club look to strengthen their attacking options.

The Bramall Lane outfit announced their squad numbers for the 2012/13 season yesterday, confirming the number 10 shirt has been left blank.

Despite recruiting forwards Shaun Miller and John Cofie, who will wear 12 and 19 respectively, over the summer, Wilson has indicated he still wants to bolster his strikeforce.

Along with Miller and Cofie, United also have Richard Cresswell and Chris Porter at their disposal but Wilson has not ruled out bringing in Blackburn Rovers player Blackman in some capacity.

The 22-year-old featured just three times as Steve Kean’s men suffered relegation from the top flight.

Wilson has stated out-of-contract star Lee Williamson is unlikely to extend his stay at Bramall Lane and the midfielder has not been allocated a squad number.

As anticipated, Mark Howard takes over the No 1 jersey following the departure of Steve Simonsen while new defenders Darryl Westlake, Matt Hill and Tony McMahon are 2, 6 and 29 respectively.

With Chris Morgan having confirmed his retirement, academy graduate Harry Maguire has been promoted to five.

Wilson, who is set to field a young side at Matlock Town tonight in the club’s final warm up match (kick-off 7.45pm), has hinted he is scouring the transfer market in search of a new defender as he bids to put more pressure under first-choice centre-half pairing Maguire and Neill Collins.

Joe Ironside, who has impressed in pre-season, may feature at Causeway Lane. Tickets are priced at £9 for adults, £5.50 seniors and juniors and £2 under-15s with a paying adult.