Sheffield United: Recruitment drive begins to gather pace

Sheffield United's Jay O'Shea poses for a photograph with a fan
Sheffield United's Jay O'Shea poses for a photograph with a fan

Sheffield United’s summer recruitment drive is beginning to gather pace after the League One champions opened talks with Jay O’Shea’s representatives about a permanent transfer to Bramall Lane.

The development, first predicted by The Star midway through last season, comes as centre-forward Ched Evans prepares to rejoin the club he left five years ago.

Jay O'Shea made 10 appearances for Sheffield United last season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Jay O'Shea made 10 appearances for Sheffield United last season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

O’Shea, a former team mate of Evans at Chesterfield, scored three goals in 10 appearances after moving to South Yorkshire in January. United’s decision to facilitate his arrival by paying a £50,000 loan fee confirmed Wilder’s intention to negotiate a long-term agreement when the 28-year-old’s contract with Gary Caldwell’s side officially expires next month.

O’Shea, an attacking midfielder, spoke openly about his desire to remain with United before helping them lift the title.

“It is a very important time for me in my career and hopefully I can push on with this club and earn a contract in the summer,” he said. “The main aim for me when I came here was earning a full-time contract and the aim does not change.”

United, who are reportedly monitoring goalkeeper Neil Etheridge’s situation at Walsall before deciding whether to firm-up their interest, expect to conclude discussions with Evans next week. Previously of Manchester City, Evans parted company with United in 2012 after being convicted of rape. He served two-and-a-half years in prison before being found not guilty, after that conviction was quashed, at retrial.

He helped Sheffield United win the League One title: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

He helped Sheffield United win the League One title: Simon Bellis/Sportimage