SHEFFIELD United's preparations for the busy Christmas period have been hampered by apparent discontent in the camp over goalkeeper Paddy Kenny's future.
Despite assurances from United manager Kevin Blackwell in October that officials would soon be opening contract talks with the Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper, Kenny has reportedly stated that no such discussions have taken place and issued a thinly-veiled threat regarding a move elsewhere.
A daily newspaper is reporting Kenny as saying: "I have been promised a new contract since August. I keep getting told 'next month, next month'. It makes me feel unwanted.
"If I am not offered anything I have got to speak to other clubs."
One of the longest serving members of United's playing staff, the 30-year-old's contract expires at the end of this season - although the Halifax-born goalkeeper does have the option of a further year.
A Championship ever-present this year, Kenny has been an instrumental part of the league's second-tightest defence and kept his ninth clean sheet of the season during the 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest last week.
Kenny has made more than 200 appearances for United and is a big fan favourite.
Last week, Blackwell said: "There is no immediate rush because Paddy has another year left on his contract with us.
"I don't think there is a better keeper in this division - there are not many better in the Premier League. He is very happy at Bramall Lane and I don't think there is any reason why he will not put pen-to-paper on a new deal."
Meanwhile one of Kenny's understudies at Bramall Lane, Jamie Annerson, won't rule out a return to Mansfield Town after completing an emergency two-game loan spell at the Blue Square Premier outfit.
Former Rotherham United loanee Annerson, 20, played two games for The Stags after first-choice goalkeeper Paddy Gamble was injured in a car crash.
Mansfield lost both matches, but Annerson said: "I enjoyed the two matches and it was nice to be playing again. "
Annerson played for United's reserves in a 5-2 rout of Mansfield last night.
David Carney scored twice and beat three men to set up another.
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