Sheffield United: It's official, Phil Jagielka returns to Bramall Lane
Phil Jagielka has completed an emotional return to Sheffield United, 12 years after leaving the club to join Everton.
The centre-half becomes Chris Wilder's second signing of this summer's transfer window, following Luke Freeman's arrival from Queens Park Rangers yesterday.
Jagielka, now aged 36, made nearly 300 appearances for United after progressing through their youth system before moving to Goodison Park when his former club was relegated from the Premier League in 2007.
After regaining their top-flight status at the end of last term, Jagielka appears destined to finish his career representing United at the highest level.
Capped 40 times by England, he announced he would be leaving Everton a month ago and has since been training with Burnley.
Jagielka will join United on their pre-season trip to Portugal later this week and is expected to feature during next Friday's friendly against Real Betis.
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Wilder’s side then return to England to face Burton Albion, Northampton Town, Chesterfield and Barnsley. Another match – against as yet unnamed opposition – is expected to be sandwiched in between the trip to Oakwell and their meeting with AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on August 10.
Speaking before Freeman completed his switch from Loftus Road, becoming United’s record signing in the process, Wilder revealed United were close to making another breakthrough in the market.
“There’s a few things going on,” he said. “We’re working hard behind the scenes and there’s plenty bubbling away. So we’ll see what happens and keep doing what we’re doing.”
“We’ve got a plan, and we’ll be sticking to it.”
Intriguingly, he also raised the possibility of signing one – potentially two – players from established Premier League clubs, although the majority of United’s attention has been focused on attracting the best Championship talent.
“That’s the market we’re in; one maybe two from the Premier League,” Wilder added. “As always, we will do everything we can to maximise the budget we have been given.”
Jagielka will bring a wealth of experience to United’s squad, having represented his country at both the European Championships and FIFA World Cup.