SHEFFIELD United expect Jordan Slew, their teenage striker, to announce whether he will stay at Bramall Lane before Danny Wilson’s squad report back for training later this week.
Slew, who was the subject of a £500,000 bid from Fulham last month, has yet to sign the new contract he agreed after establishing himself at first team level towards the end of the 2010/11 campaign.
Wilson and academy director John Pemberton, who recently guided United into the FA Youth Cup final for the first time in their history, have both told the 18-year-old that his development would be best served by remaining in South Yorkshire.
And, despite revealing he will not issue Slew with any ultimatums, Wilson is understood to have informed the player and his representative that he does not want the issue to overshadow preparations for next season.
Despite reports to the contrary, United have yet to receive any firm offers for Slew since rebuffing Craven Cottage’s advances.
Despite conceding that their Youth Cup success will have increased interest in Pemberton’s proteges, Wilson’s board of directors have insisted they do not want to sell.
Indeed, the former Northern Ireland international’s willingness to blend home grown talent with more experienced names was a major factor behind his appointment when Micky Adams parted company with United following their relegation from the Championship.
Richard Cresswell and Steve Simonsen are among those club officials would prefer to keep despite admitting they could be forced to cut costs after sliding into League One.
However, together with the rest of their colleagues, both will have to impress Wilson during the forthcoming tour of Malta where the manager’s plans are likely to take shape.
Wilson’s squad face Sliema Wanderers at the Ta Qali training complex on Monday 18 July before facing Hibernians at Paola Stadium two days later.
Both games are scheduled to kick-off at 6.30pm local time.
Daniel Bogdanovic, United’s Malta striker, has predicted their visit to the Mediterranean could have a crucial bearing on performances next term: “We need to start the season well and pre-season is going to be crucial to us making a good start,” he told United’s website.
“We started talking prematurely last season and we must not make the same mistakes again.”
Bogdanovic’s international team mates Mario Muscat and Andrew Cohen have both penned new deals with Hibernians.
Justin Haber, who spent a year at Bramall Lane, is considering offers from Portugal and Greece after his contract at Ferencvaros expired.