Chris Wilder relaxed over keeping his Sheffield United stars at Bramall Lane as John Egan is linked with Everton

Chris Wilder is relaxed over the prospect of keeping his Sheffield United stars at Bramall Lane after John Egan, the club’s Republic of Ireland defender, was once again linked with a move to Premier League rivals Everton.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 3:00 pm

National newspaper reports have suggested that Egan has been lined up as one of Carlo Ancelotti’s first targets after the legendary manager took charge at Goodison Park.

As The Star revealed recently, United want to open contract talks with Egan, as well as his teammates Enda Stevens and John Lundstram, following United’s promising start to life in the Premier League.

And Wilder, speaking ahead of Boxing Day’s clash with Watford, said: “If I get a call off 75 per cent of clubs in this division, possibly more, there will be a better deal out here for my players but hopefully they look a bit deeper than that,” said Wilder.

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John Egan of Sheffield Utd celebrates his goal before it was ruled out by VAR at Brighton: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“We had a situation with David Brooks a couple of years ago where we were going into our second Championship season and a Premier League team (Bournemouth) came calling.

“It is difficult when the big hitters try to take your players away but we’re in a good position as a club. I’m grateful for the work (chief executive) Steve Bettis, Carl (Shieber, the head of football administration) and the board do backing me as a manager.

“There’s no director of football, no negotiations, no one’s going behind my back to move players on, which is how I want to manage and make right decisions on behalf of the football club.

“We want to keep our best players and we want to build and move forward.

“I’m not worried, about people looking at our players. It’s part and parcel of the division, it’s something you have to handle. They are all under contract.

“I want to drive the club forward and make that next step.

“Lots of things have to happen for a deal to come off but I’m sure the players are happy to be here, you can see that at the end of games. I’d never want to keep an unhappy player here and, if there was, then we’d look to protect the football club.”