No way back to Sheffield United for promotion hero Mark Duffy
Mark Duffy’s career with Sheffield United appears to be over after Chris Wilder, the Premier League club’s manager, revealed there are no plans to terminate the midfielder’s loan at Stoke City.
Duffy, a key member of the squad which gained promotion from the Championship last term completed a surprise move to the bet365 Stadium in August with Wilder later suggesting he had been frustrated by the 34-year-old’s desire to renegotiate his deal.
But the Liverpudlian has endured a disappointing time in Staffordshire, making only nine outings under Nathan Jones and his successor Michael O’Neill.
Wilder was asked if there was a route back for Duffy, whose agreement expires at the end of the present campaign, ahead of Sunday’s visit to Manchester City. His response, after also shedding further light on the agreements which saw Dean Henderson and Mo Besic join United on loan, confirmed not.
“Mark was a season long loan and his contract was up so basically, when he left in August, that was the end of his Sheffield United career,” Wilder said.
Wilder also addressed the situations of Henderson, the Manchester United goalkeeper, and Everton midfielder Besic as United continued their preparations for the meeting with Pep Guardiola’s side.
Henderson’s position in South Yorkshire appears to be set in stone, Besic could depart if officials at Goodison Park decide to sell him on a permanent basis.
“Dean and Mo, the two English loans, yes, there was no call back,” Wilder said. “Well, there might be a call back on Mo, if a club comes in for him and buys him outright. But Dean is here for the season and his (Besic’s) deal was for the season.”
Although Henderson has been a virtual ever-present, only missing last month’s draw with his parent club and two EFL Cup ties, Besic is yet to start a top-flight fixture for United.
“It’s been difficult for Mo (to get in) because of the form of John Lundstram, John Fleck and Ollie Norwood,” Wilder conceded. “But he’s a great character, fantastic to have around the place and when he has come on, he certainly hasn’t let anyone or himself down.”