Sheffield United: Jack O'Connell an option as Wilder identifies new transfer targets
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has compiled a fresh list of targets after revealing he wants to sign at least two more centre-halves.
James Wilson, previously of Oldham Athletic, became the third new player to arrive at Bramall Lane during the close season after agreeing a two-year contract earlier this week.
But Wilder, speaking ahead of Saturday’s friendly against Stocksbridge Park Steels, confirmed recruiting more defenders remains his immediate priority in the transfer market.
“That position is definitely a focus,” Wilder said. “It’s something we are looking to address.
“We’re delighted to get James but we want to get another two or three (centre-halves) in by the time the window closes.”
Although Wilder has refused to divulge the identity of those players under consideration, Brentford’s Jack O’Connell is a possible option after growing increasingly frustrated by his lack of opportunities at Griffin Park. O’Connell, who has been capped by England at under-18 and under-19 level, boasts experience of the lower leagues following loan spells with Rotherham, York City and Rochdale.
Matt Kilgallon’s representatives are known to have explored the possibility of their client returning to his former club. But Kilgallon, who made 126 appearances for United between 2007 and 2010, is not on the verge of deciding his next destination after leaving Blackburn Rovers last month.
Kyle McFadzean, meanwhile, is expected to be the subject of further discussions between United and MK Dons after demanding to leave Karl Robinson’s side.
“We’ll do our business in the right and proper way,” Wilder added. “We won’t talk about people we’re looking at out of respect for them and also their parent clubs.
“But it is fair to say that we are being active and there’s lots going on behind the scenes. James has come in but we know the departments we are light in and, yes, we are trying to do some more business at the back. I don’t think anyone will be surprised to hear me say that.”
Wilder, who also hopes to bolster United’s midfield and attack before August 6th’s League One opener at Bolton Wanderers, yesterday learnt his squad will face a Murcia Representative XI when it visits La Manga next week. The fixture takes place on Thursday at the resort’s main stadium and entrance is free.
United have announced that BCEGI (Beijing Construction Engineering Group International) will sponsor their shorts next season. The Manchester based company join The Hualing Group, from Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang province, as backers of the club.
Paul Reeves, United’s Head of Commercial, said: “This is another new major commercial partner on board. BCEGI is a global business supporting the football club. This is an initial one year partnership and we look forward to working with them to develop their brand in the UK market.”