Sheffield United: Is this man the next new face at Bramall Lane?

Ryan Bennett is preparing to find a new club
Ryan Bennett is preparing to find a new club

Sheffield United have opened talks with former Norwich City defender Ryan Bennett as Chris Wilder prepares his squad for Championship football next term.

According to sources at Carrow Road, the 27-year-old has been approached about the possibility of a move to Bramall Lane after being released at the end of last season.

Ryan Bennett (centre) is leaving Norwich City

Ryan Bennett (centre) is leaving Norwich City

Birmingham City are also thought to be monitoring Bennett’s situation closely while Brighton and Hove Albion were linked with a move earlier this summer.

Wilder has made a new centre-half one of his top priorities in the transfer market since leading United to promotion nearly seven weeks ago. Ethan Ebanks-Landell, a member of the side which finished 14 points clear at the top of the League One table, remains a possibility despite returning to Wolverhampton Wanderers after completing his loan while Millwall’s Byron Webster also counts Wilder as an admirer. However, United’s hopes of prising him away from The Den appear to have receded following the Londoners’ play-off final victory over Bradford City.

Outlining plans to complete the majority of his transfer business “as quickly as possible”, Wilder said: “I never talk about individual names. But we always try and do our recruitment properly, looking at people and their records over a period of time.

“It’s such an important part of football that it would be wrong to do it any other way. We don’t just pick names out of a hat. We do our research here and examine all sorts of different aspects.”

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Bennett, who started his career with Grimsby Town, made 129 appearances for Norwich after completing a £3m transfer from Peterborough in 2012. Over a third of those came at Premier League level, where he also scored two goals.

Bennett is among a host of big names, including John Ruddy, Kyle Lafferty, Sebastien Bassong and Steven Whittaker, whose contracts in Norfolk will not be renewed when they officially expire next month.