Latest on Sheffield United's attempts to sign Jesse Lingard, Omar Colley and others in January transfer window

Sheffield United are preparing formal approaches for some of the targets Chris Wilder has identified ahead of next month’s transfer window as he attempts to strengthen his squad for the second half of the Premier League season.

By James Shield
Monday, 21st December 2020, 6:00 am

Preliminary discussions have already been held with the clubs and representatives of the players Wilder has identified as potential loan signings, with Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard among those attracting the manager’s interest.

Although the midfielder is seen as a potential replacement for John Lundstram, who despite starting yesterday’s draw at Brighton and Hove Albion is refusing to extend his contract beyond the end of the campaign, a left-sided centre-half is Wilder’s top priority after Jack O’Connell underwent knee surgery in September.

Omar Colley, of Serie A club Sampdoria, is known to have been the subject of a tentative enquiry from officials acting on behalf of United in recent weeks, with the Gambia international thought to be excited by the possibility of moving to England.

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Sheffield United have identified Jesse Lingard of Manchester United as a target in this January transfer wndow

Marcos Rojo, Lingard’s team mate at Old Trafford, counts several members of Wilder’s board of directors among his admirers. But the 53-year-old and his coaching staff are thought to be pursuing other lines of enquiry, with Preston North End’s Ben Davies still viewed as potential long-term signing after first being approached around eight weeks ago. North End will not allow the defender to depart on a temporary basis but, like Lundstram, he is set to become a free agent in the summer.

Wilder handed what he described as a “list of recommendations” to United’s hierarchy earlier this month, following a series of consultations with his assistant Alan Knill and head of recruitment Paul Mitchell.

“We’ve put that in, and now hopefully we can get things done,” Wilder said, stressing the need for United to complete their business as quickly as possible after sliding to the bottom of the table. “It’s a difficult window, everyone knows that. But we’ll be doing what we can.”

Lundstram was dismissed during the first-half of United’ trip to the AMEX Stadium, as Wilder’s men came within four minutes of recording their first win since July. Substitute Jayden Bogle fired the visitors in front on his top-flight debut, before Danny Welbeck equalised during the closing stages.

“When you come so close, you’re disappointed not to see it through,” Wilder said. “But we were competitive, and showed a real desire and ambition to get the first goal and then try and keep it out of the back of our net.”