Sheffield United: Striker set to stay this month, leaving Blades to decide on contract extension

Lys Mousset appears destined to see out the remainder of his contract at Sheffield United.

Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 3:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 5:57 pm

Although a number of clubs from abroad have previously considered approaches for the centre-forward, it is understood officials at Bramall Lane have yet to receive any serious expressions of interest since the transfer window reopened earlier this month.

Unless the situation changes, which appears unlikely given the fact Mousset is currently being overlooked for first team duty because of conditioning issues, then his future at United looks set to remain in doubt until the end of the season.

His present deal is set to expire on June 30, although it is thought Paul Heckingbottom’s employers have the option to trigger a 12 month extension.

Sheffield United striker Lys Mousset: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Speaking before last weekend’s win over Luton Town - Heckingbottom’s fourth victory in six Championship outings since taking charge in November - the United manager warned Mousset he must lose weight or risk wasting his talents.

“He has got up to it,” Heckingbottom said. “He has still got to do more and more. He’s aware that he needs to get fitter and aware that he needs to lose weight.”

Mousset has enlisted the help of a personal trainer in order to convince Heckingbottom he is ready for a return to action. But with the 44-year-old’s predecessor Chris Wilder also voicing concerns about Mousset’s professionalism before departing in March, Heckingbottom will seek major assurances from the striker that he is prepared to change his lifestyle away from the pitch before inviting him back into the fold.

Mousset watched the meeting with Nathan Jones’ side from the directors’ box, where he was spotted deep in conversation with chief executive Steve Bettis during the half-time interval.

The striker is one of Sheffield United's most naturally talented players: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Despite being frustrated by his conduct since completing a £10m move from AFC Bournemouth in the summer of 2019, United have persevered with Mousset because, as one insider at the club told The Star earlier this term, “he’s got all of the attributes - apart from one - to be the first name on the team sheet.”

“Lys is really popular too, because he’s a really nice lad,” they added. “But it’s fair to say everyone knows that he needs to do more if he wants to make the most of what he’s got. And that’s the shame because, pretty much, he’s got it all.”

Aged 25, Mousset earned rave reviews after scoring five times in 10 Premier League appearances soon after joining United. But the issues which prompted Wilder to later claim “there needs to be a big push from the player now” prevented him from building upon that explosive start to life in South Yorkshire.

Despite impressing under former manager Slavisa Jokanovic at the beginning of the campaign, he has yet to complete a full match in United colours.

Braga and Heart of Midlothian have been linked with Mousset in the past, together with clubs in Russia and his native France.

It had been claimed that United were minded to try and recoup some of their investment in Mousset before Monday’s deadline.