Sheffield United: Chris Wilder upbeat about securing his transfer targets following sponsorship announcement

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, says he is "confident" the newly promoted club can secure some of his leading transfer targets as its preparations for next season's Premier League campaign gather pace.

By James Shield
Monday, 24 June, 2019, 19:51
Chris Wilder (second right) is confident about securing his transfer targets: Scott Merrylees

Wilder is chasing a number of new players, including Queens Park Rangers' Luke Freeman, Neal Maupay of Brentford and Swansea City's Oli McBurnie, after leading United to a second placed finish in the Championship last term.

Speaking after Union Standard Group were unveiled as United's new shirt sponsors, Wilder, whose squad will be joined in the top-flight by Norwich City and play-off winners Aston Villa, said: "We are working away and are confident about the ones we have targeted. We are an attractive club to come to.

"I think it will be us and Norwich in terms of the market we are. Villa are in a different market to us.

"You have to expect that and look at the teams who have established themselves in the Premier League after coming up in recent years - the Burnley's, Bournemouth's and Brighton's - they've been there three or four years and obviously the riches that has brought to their clubs makes them in a lot stronger position. That has got to be our ambition to be in that position. Then, you go above that."

In an attempt to bridge the financial divide, Wilder has focused on signing players with the potential to compete at the highest level rather than proven elite level performers. Dean Henderson, the Manchester United goalkeeper, is another name on the 51-year-old's wanted list after impressing on loan last term.

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Dismissing concerns about the progress of United's latest recruitment drive - "The whole market is slow at the moment" - Wilder added: "I have always wanted to do things pretty quickly, to get them settled in the group and get them to know (everyone). We have never been late-minute buyers or putting the group together at the last minute because we want to work on certain things, which has shown in the way we have gone about our work in the last three years.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder celebrates promotion: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

"Dean Henderson was possibly our first signing last year and it was in and around this time. Supporters and everyone want to see signings coming in, but we cannot rush through things and have to make sure we get it right."

The agreement with USG, an Australian based financial firm, is the biggest sponsorship deal United have completed in their 130 year history.

"Indirectly, for us to seal this deal from a club's point of view is testament to what has happened over the past three years," Wilder, who also led United out of League One at the first time of asking in 2016, said. "It shows what the Premier League brings and how many people watch it. It is a great deal for the football club and puts the club in a better position, which hopefully puts me in a better position."