Keeper signs Blades deal

KEVIN Blackwell is pressing ahead with his search for fresh goalkeeping talent despite confirming Ian Bennett, Paddy Kenny's experienced deputy, has signed a new 12-month contract.

The former Birmingham and Leeds veteran marked United's return to pre-season training yesterday by agreeing to extend his two-year stay at Bramall Lane despite interest from Championship rivals Crystal Palace.

Bennett was joined at Shirecliffe by Jan Michael Williams, a promising youngster from Trinidad and Tobago, who has been been playing for White Star Woluwe in Brussels.

"Ian is staying," Blackwell told The Star. "I'm pleased that he is because when he came in for a spell last term he showed just how good he is."

Blackwell added: "We gave our word that we'd have a look at Jan last season.

"But with everything else that was happening it just wasn't possible so we're doing that now."

Lee Martin, who endured an injury-plagued spell on loan at United last term, has expressed his desire to return on a permanent basis.

The Manchester United winger said: "I'm still at Manchester and it's a matter of going back and speaking to the gaffer.

"It's a bit weird and just a waiting game at the minute."

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Blades back in training: PICTURES

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