Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder's response when asked about his January transfer targets
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has refused to be drawn on claims he is monitoring midfielders Glen Kamara and Adrien Tameze.
Explaining his club has lost out on potential new signings in the past after rivals teams were alerted to United’s targets in the transfer market, Wilder instead insisted he will only comment on new arrivals when “they are in the building” and “posing for those funny old pictures with a shirt and a scarf.”
After focusing his efforts during the summer transfer window on bolstering United’s attack, Wilder is aiming to bolster other areas of his squad before this month’s deadline.
Kamara, aged 24, has impressed for Rangers in the Scottish Premiership this term and representatives from Bramall Lane are thought to have watched the Finland international in action during last month’s Old Firm derby against Celtic.
Tameze, who is one year older than the former Arsenal trainee, has also attracted interest from Aston Villa and West Ham although it remains unclear if David Moyes’ recent appointment will prompt a chance in the latter’s recruitment strategy.
Tameze can also play in defence which, with Wilder wanting to increase competition for places in United’s back three, would make him a valuable addition to United’s ranks if a bid materialises.
Speaking after Jack Rodwell completed a move to Bramall Lane before Wilder’s side beat AFC Fylde in the FA Cup, he said: “Jack has done great. So we are in the process of offering Jack something.
“Other than that, I’m not trying to be clever when I say I won’t name any names.
“We’re in the situation where we have to work hard and be diligent with our signings.
“In the past, we have flagged people up and then someone has come in over the top of us.
“I’m not embarrassed about that. But of course, we’d love to improve our squad.”
Wilder’s comments confirm United hope to go about their business behind a veil of secrecy to avoid being drawn into auctions orchestrated by a player’s agent, their present club or both.
He met with members of the board, including owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulazis Al Saud and his footballing advisor Jan Van Winckel in Dubai during a recent break in the Premier League fixture schedule.
With United finishing the festive programme in eighth, Wilder hopes their results this term will open fresh avenues to explore in the market and make South Yorkshire an even more attractive destination for high-calibre names.
Intriguingly, Wilder also acknowledged Rodwell’s ability to operate as a centre-half had helped convince United to offer him a short-term deal following a successful trial period. Capped three times by England, Rodwell had been without a club since leaving rejecting the offer of a new contract at Blackburn Rovers last term.
“I think it’s always helpful to have people around the place who can, if necessary, perform a few different roles,” Wilder said.