MANAGER Danny Wilson has revealed James Beattie is prepared to take a big wage cut to rejoin Sheffield United.
The 33-year-old striker is back training with the club and is bidding to revive his career after an injury-ravaged spell at Scottish champions Rangers.
It was almost three years ago when Beattie last represented United and it is thought his salary was in the region of £30,000 a week.
Given United’s precarious financial position - their net debt stands at £32 million - and the fact the team are languishing in the third tier of English football, Beattie, a free agent after being shown the door by Rangers, would have to accept much lower terms if offered a contact at Bramall Lane.
Wilson said: “James knows the situation of the club
and he wants to come here and that is good enough for me. There are no massive wage demands from the boy, none whatsoever. He wants to come and play football. Money doesn’t come into the equation.
“The fact he wants to play football and come to Sheffield United is good enough for me.”
Beattie enjoyed a productive 16-month stint at United, scoring 34 times before being sold to Stoke City for £3.5m after the club failed to secure a return to the top flight.
Injuries have hampered his career in recent years and he briefly trained with Bournemouth last week.
Wilson, whose side entertain 10th-placed Carlisle United today, has vowed to put Beattie through his paces in training over the coming days to get him up to speed.
The Blades chief has not ruled out signing the forward on a temporary basis, as long as proves his fitness.
He said: “We will see how it goes. There is nothing set in the stone.
“We want to get him to a certain level of fitness where he can compete and he is nowhere near there at the moment. The good thing is that James knows that.
“We will see how it goes. It might not work out. If we give him an intense fitness programme, it might not suit him. We don’t know.
“Rest assured, we will do our best to get him on the pitch.”
There are other clubs believed to be monitoring Beattie’s situation but Wilson believes United are in the ‘box seat’ to land the former England international.
“I would like to think that by doing the things we are doing it would put us in a strong position to be able to keep him here,” he admitted.
“I think any side would like a player of the quality of James whether they felt they needed him or not. When a player like that comes available, you make space for him.”
Wilson added: “James has got a fantastic track record and he’s played at a high standard of football for most of his career.
“He’s not played a lot of football over the last 12 months and we are in a position to offer training, have a look at him and evaluate the situation.”