Sheffield United: Blades will not be held to ransom

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough wants his players to show character � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough wants his players to show character � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Nigel Clough has vowed Sheffield United will not be held to ransom in the transfer market as he prepares to strengthen its first team squad.

Boasting average gates of over 17,000 last season and with many observers expecting them to mount a serious challenge for promotion next term, Bramall Lane is likely to emerge as one of the most desirable destinations in English football’s third tier this summer.

But Clough, the United manager, told The Star he will take a dim view of players whose career choices are based on money rather than sporting concerns.

“Finance is the last thing we talk about,” Clough said. “We’re more keen on characters.

“If someone wanted to talk about that first then it would set alarm bells ringing. You might read something into that.

“Of course, there’s a stage when you have to do that but, first and foremost, we want people to come here for footballing reasons.”

United, who finished seventh in the table and reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup despite flirting with relegation before Clough’s appointment in October, are determined to adopt a prudent, surgical approach to recruitment with coaching staff placing home grown talent at the heart of their future plans.

Nevertheless, a bid has been tabled for Livingston centre-forward Marc McNulty while former loanee Ben Davies is poised to join on a permanent basis when his contract at Derby County expires.

“Ben will be offered something,” added Clough. “We know him, he has done well in the three months he has been here, he fills in and gets the odd goal.

“Important one too because the three he scored all turned out to be winners. We’d like him around but he may have offers from elsewhere so we’ll see what happens.”

Davies, who scored United’s final goal of the 2013/14 campaign during the 2-1 victory over Coventry City, indicated he is minded to accept Clough’s invitation during an interview with the club’s official website.

“I’ve loved it here, when you play in front of 20,000 it is not like playing for a League One club,”Davies said. “I’d like to thank everyone for making it special.”

Meanwhile, United’s Community Foundation have announced they will be holding football camps at a variety of venues across the city later this month.

For more information or to book a place email community@sufc.co.uk or telephone 01142922347.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1