Sheffield United: Will this player be heading back to Bramall Lane?

Joe Riley makes his full debut for Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Joe Riley makes his full debut for Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Joe Riley has kept in touch with several of his former Sheffield United team mates ahead of a possible return to Bramall Lane.

The Manchester United defender joined Chris Wilder’s side earlier this year but was forced to cut short his loan spell after dislocating his shoulder during a freak training ground accident.

As The Star first revealed following Riley’s return to Old Trafford, Wilder remains interested in working with the youngster again after tracking his progress since August. Although a move would depend upon the Premier League club’s own development plans, United’s ability to offer Championship football next season makes them an even more attractive proposition for Riley and his advisors.

“I know Joe has kept in touch with some of the lads here,” Wilder, the United manager, said. “We’ve not taken it any further out of respect for them (Manchester United) and for him; he’s obviously focusing on his recovery. But we’ll see what happens.”

Riley was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder after falling awkwardly ahead of United’s victory over Bolton Wanderers two months ago. Wilder’s squad enters tomorrow’s game at Port Vale nine points ahead of Phil Parkinson’s second-placed side and 16 clear of Fleetwood Town in third.

“We’ve got a big weekend coming up,” Wilder said last night. “Everyone is focused on the game.”

Chris Wilder (centre) is a big fan of Joe Riley: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder (centre) is a big fan of Joe Riley: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Wilder and Alan Knill are preparing for tomorrow's visit to Port Vale. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Wilder and Alan Knill are preparing for tomorrow's visit to Port Vale. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage