Blades get tough with young striker

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Sheffield United are unlikely to reopen contract talks with Diego De Girolamo, manager Nigel Clough has indicated, after revealing the Italy under-20 international wants to leave Bramall Lane.

De Girolamo joined Northampton Town on loan earlier this year after the player, who has made nine appearances for the League One club, reportedly asked to terminate a similar arrangement with York City.

However, United will still be entitled to a significant fee when De Girolamo depart under the terms of legislation governing the movement of young players. That figure will be inflated further due to the 19-year-old’s involvement with Alberigo Evani’s squad.

Clough said: “Diego says, quite categorically, that he sees his future elsewhere. He left York at his own instigation, it was nothing to do with us.

“Northampton came in and we were made aware that he would rather be there.”

Given Clough’s habit of personally vetting the suitability of clubs seeking to sign United players on loan, his decision not to insist that De Girolamo remained at Bootham Crescent until the end of the season suggests he has finally run out of patience with the centre-forward and his advisors after previously insisting it would be in their client’s best interests to remain in South Yorkshire.

Sunderland have been mooted as a potential destination while sources close to Bolton Wanderers recently claimed they had been approached by a figure purporting to represent De Girolamo about joining Neil Lennon’s side.

Twitter: @JamesShield1

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