Sheffield United are refusing to admit defeat in the battle for MK Dons defender Kyle McFadzean despite unveiling Jake Wright as their latest summer signing.
Wright, the former Oxford United captain, became the sixth new player to join United following Chris Wilder’s appointment as manager after leaving The Kassam Stadium last weekend.
Despite recruiting three centre-halves in the space of seven days - James Wilson and Jack O’Connell have also arrived at Bramall Lane - McFadzean still features on Wilder’s wanted list as he presses ahead with his overhaul of the League One club’s squad.
“We are looking at one more in that position,” Wilder told The Star. “We’ve got some good young players coming through but, to begin with, we want genuine competition in every position and this is an area we’ve been very light in before.
“I want two people battling it out for every role. I want people to be playing in their proper positions. I want round pegs in round holes.
“I don’t want to be moving Bash (Chris Basham) to centre-half, for example. I don’t want John Brayford to be going in there.
“Okay, there might be times when injuries or whatever dictate certain things. But how can Bash, say, get into a rhythm if he’s moving around all the time? It just breaks the midfield partnership up.”
McFadzean has effectively gone on strike at stadium:mk as he attempts to engineer a return to Bramall Lane. The 29-year-old progressed through United’s youth system before joining Dons following spells with Alfreton and Crawley Town.
Karl Robinson, Wilder’s counterpart in Buckinghamshire, values McFadzean at £500,000. But United, who have offered £250,000 for his services, suspect Dons could be tempted to reach a compromise as the relationship between McFadzean and Robinson becomes increasingly strained.
Wright, who joined United at their warm weather training camp in La Manga last night, has agreed a two year contract after parting company with Oxford. John Fleck and O’Connell also travelled having moved to South Yorkshire on Friday evening.
“We’re signed players from different pots, at different stages of their careers,” Wilder said. “But all of them have one thing in common and that’s the fact we believe they bring something to the football club and can help us play the way we want to do.”