Diego De Girolamo appears to have played his final game for Sheffield United after manager Nigel Clough revealed the player has rejected “a very good contract offer” from the League One club, writes James Shield.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s game at Notts County, which could see the visitors move to within nine points of second-placed, Clough confirmed De Girolamo believes there are “better opportunities” available elsewhere when his present deal expires at the end of the season.
As The Star reported last month, the Italy young international is believed to view Sunderland as a possible destination although United will receive substantial compensation if he departs as a free agent.
“We made Diego what was a very good contract offer and he turned it down,” Clough said. “So the matter will go upstairs now.”
Asked whether he was minded to offer the teenage striker an olive branch, he added: “Diego believes there will be better opportunities for him somewhere else.
“He’s not been involved recently because we believe, at this moment in time, Matty Done is a better player and also, at this moment in time, Marc McNulty is a better player. Nothing more.”
United, who helped nurse De Girolamo back to health following a serious knee injury sustained on duty for the Azzurrini two years ago, have selected the teenager on five occasions this term.
Fellow Redtooth Academy graduates Louis Reed, George Willis and Terry Kennedy featured in the squad which beat Bristol City three days ago with the latter recently choosing to extend his stay at Bramall Lane.
“We will always offer young players, if they are good enough, the chance,” Clough said. “I think we have a proven track record of doing that.
“Then, it is up to them to try and take it but they will always get the opportunity.”