Sheffield United: Martin Cranie is staying at Bramall Lane

Martin Cranie is staying at Bramall Lane.Martin Cranie is staying at Bramall Lane.
Martin Cranie is staying at Bramall Lane.
Martin Cranie is set to remain at Bramall Lane until the end of the season after accepting Sheffield United's offer of a new contract.

The defender, who joined Chris Wilder's side on a short term basis earlier this year, will shortly put pen to paper following talks with the Championship club's coaching staff.

Confirming Oliver Norwood's transfer to United is set to become permanent on Wednesday - the midfielder arrived on a 'loan to buy' basis from Brighton and Hove Albion in August - Wilder said: "He (Cranie) has been offered an extension so he's staying until the end of the season. The numbers are all there, it's just the process, it's subject to board approval. It's going through."

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Aged 32, Cranie's experience is viewed as an integral part of United's promotion masterplan by Wilder, who is expected to hand him only his second start of the season at Wigan Athletic tomorrow. Fellow centre-half Chris Basham will miss the game after being sent-off against Blackburn Rovers. Cranie helped Huddersfield Town reach the top-flight last year before embarking upon an eight month spell with Middlesbrough.

"He's a great lad, a good player too. You forget he came on the pitch when Huddersfield played Reading in the play-off final and was in the play-offs with Middlesbrough last year as well," Wilder, whose side are fourth, continued. "The form of Bash has made it difficult for him but, day to day, his attitude is brilliant. He knows this is an opportunity for him. 

"If Bash gets injured, suspended again or drops his form then he'll come in and get a run at it."

With Wilder outlining plans to sign "a couple more players" on loan during the transfer window following Kieran Dowell's move from Everton, United are also set to allow several of those on the periphery of his starting eleven to depart on a temporary basis. Youngster Tyler Smith is destined for Doncaster Rovers while Daniel Lafferty and Jake Wright are understood to be the subject of interest from elsewhere in the English Football League.

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Despite reports to the contrary, United do not expect Ricky Holmes and Samir Carruthers to cut short their loans with Oxford after injury hit spells in the south-east. But Ryan Leonard's switch to Millwall will be processed within the next 24 hours. Another player United effectively sold in August, Wigan's Lee Evans, is ineligible for selection against his parent club. 

"Olly's loan goes through afterwards," Wilder explained. "The offices at the EFL are closed, it all goes through automatically afterwards. That gets made a permanent and then Kieran (Dowell) kicks-in afterwards as well. 

"The same as Ryan; that was really a permanent."