Nigel Adkins, the Sheffield United manager, is pressing ahead with his attempt to land a new winger before the deadline for emergency loan signings later this month.
Football League clubs have until March 24 to reinforce their squads and Adkins, having identified a midfielder capable of providing extra width to United’s play, opened talks regarding two potential targets before last weekend’s game against Oldham Athletic.
He acknowledging it would be difficult to persuade any of his League One rivals to part company with key squad members at such a pivotal stage of the season, and it is thought both men under consideration are currently operating at Championship level.
Adkins’ desire to recruit a new winger also provides a clue regarding the positions he has earmarked as particular areas of concern ahead of what is expected to be a major overhaul of United’s playing staff this summer.
Large swathes of United’s squad have entered the final three months of their contracts at Bramall Lane, with many unlikely to be offered new deals.
With Neill Collins negotiating a settlement on the remainder of his contract last week - the defender is set to join Tampa Bay Rowdies - United will also be in the market for a centre-half, having recently secured the services of Middlesbrough’s Alex Baptiste until the end of the season.
Although one suspects Adkins has already reached a final decision on the futures of many United players, he is understandably reluctant to confirm whether or not that is actually the case.
“Everyone here is playing for a contract,” Adkins said. “Every single one.
“That’s football, that’s the way it works.
“You have to prove yourself all the time.”