Sheffield United transfers: Kyle Walker has already given return verdict as Man City man linked again

Walker is a boyhood Blade who came through the ranks at United and has made no secret of his love for the Blades
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England international Kyle Walker has once again been linked with a return to his boyhood club Sheffield United.

The right-back, 32, is out of contract at Manchester City next summer, by which time he will be 34, with recent reports suggesting that he could leave the Etihad when his deal expires - and potentially make an emotional return to where it all began.

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The Premier League champions, who are still fighting for silverware on three fronts this season, are not thought to be considering selling Walker, especially after the recent departure of João Cancelo, but the Sheffield-born defender could see out his deal before a move elsewhere.

Sheffield United's goalscorer Kyle Walker with Liverpool's Robbie Threlfall in the FA Youth Cup Quarter Final in 2007Sheffield United's goalscorer Kyle Walker with Liverpool's Robbie Threlfall in the FA Youth Cup Quarter Final in 2007
Sheffield United's goalscorer Kyle Walker with Liverpool's Robbie Threlfall in the FA Youth Cup Quarter Final in 2007

United are a natural link, as the club where Walker began his professional career and a place he has always had a big affinity with. He grew up a stone’s throw from Bramall Lane in Sharrow and impressed in his short time in the first-team before being sold to Spurs, earning a £50m move to City which has seen him become a serial Premier League trophy winner.

Aston Villa have also been linked with Walker and even if United were in the Premier League, it is clear that Walker would have to agree a significant drop in wages if he was to return to Bramall Lane. But he has spoken previously about his desire to do exactly that, most recently earlier this season while on BBC punditry duty for United’s FA Cup win over Spurs.

Walker was in the studio alongside former Blades boss Chris Wilder, who revealed that he spoke to Walker after every game against City during United’s two years in the Premier League to ask him when he was going to return to Bramall Lane.

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“I think it’s one on your bucket list, isn’t it?” Wilder asked Walker, who replied coyly: “I wouldn’t mind.”

Walker has previously picked United’s 2009 play-off final against Burnley as the one game in his career he would love to go back and play again, and told the BBC back in 2021 that he will keep “going until my legs don’t want me to go.

“Until they go I’ll keep running,” he added. “I made it very clear I want to go back and play for Sheffield United. I started there, played there from when I was six or seven years old.

“If I am dropping down and it is becoming a burden, obviously not. But as long as I am still enjoying it, I’ll keep doing it. I love the banter with the lads. There is never one day I think I don’t want to get out of the bed. As soon as that stops, I will stop.”

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On the Burnley game, he said previously: “If I could play one game again, knowing what I know now, it would be Sheffield United v Burnley. I grew up in Sheffield, I played for Sheffield United since I was six until I signed for Tottenham at the age of 19 so they have a special place in my heart, like everyone knows. And if I had to go back for one game to rewrite history, it would be that game.”

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