Sheffield United: Manager Chris Wilder scours the market as transfer link is quashed

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has acknowledged his team's flying start to the new Championship season could complicate the search for more firepower during this month's transfer window.

Thursday, 3rd January 2019, 3:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 7:27 am
Chris Wilder is working hard in the transfer market: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Despite watching captain Billy Sharp set a new English record for league goals scored since the turn of the century, Wilder wants to sign at least one new striker after United moved to within two points of the automatic promotion places following Tuesday's win at Wigan Athletic.

With Wilder confirming the loan market is likely to be his most viable source of fresh talent - midfielder Kieran Dowell arrived from Everton last week - United's coaching staff are pursuing lines of enquiry at several top-flight clubs after deciding many of their divisional rivals will refuse to do business.

Daniel Lafferty has joined Peterborough on loan: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

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"We know the type of player we want and we're working hard to bring them in," Wilder said. "What we don't want to do, though, is waste time on people who probably aren't going to be allowed to come here because they're with sides around us in the table or who are looking to climb up.

"You never know, because it depends on situations. We've got plans and want to try and action them as efficiently as possible."

With Wilder recently outlining the dangers of running a bloated squad - "We think the numbers are right and that's important" - United have made room on their roster by allowing Daniel Lafferty to join Peterborough until the end of the campaign. The Northern Ireland international, a regular member of last year's League One title winning side, made what is likely to prove his final United appearance in September. Fellow defender Jake Wright could also depart, again on a temporary basis, over the coming weeks.

"We've got people in mind and very often what happens is that a move up there (the Premier League) triggers things off and opens doors, either at the club bringing someone in or elsewhere," Wilder, who despite reports to the contrary is not monitoring Norwich City's Yanic Wildschut, said. "Obviously we want to do things as quickly as possible but patience is also required in certain situations because whoever comes in has got to be able to make a difference."

Yanic Wildschut, on loan at Bolton Wanderers from Norwich City, is not on United's radar

Dowell, who was ineligible for selection against Wigan, is set to make his United debut when Barnet visit South Yorkshire in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday. 

Meanwhile, Sheffield United Women have signed Maddy Cusack from Leicester City WFC. The midfielder has been capped by England at under-19 level.

Carla Ward, manager of United Women, said: "We are delighted to get Maddy on board. She will add a little bit of grit into the midfield and I think she will be a key player in the run in."

Kieran Dowell will make his United debut against Barnet: Simon Bellis/Sportimage