Wilder, who wants to sign Aaron Ramsdale, John Swift and Matty Cash before the new campaign begins on September 12, is focusing his latest recruitment drive on players from the English Football League - insisting there are “plenty” of footballers in the lower divisions capable of performing at the highest level.
Although this approach has been shaped by United’s lack of financial muscle compared to other clubs in the division - a situation exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which means games are again set to be staged behind closed doors - it mirrors the one which saw the likes of Enda Stevens, John Lundstram and John Egan deliver top-flight football to Bramall Lane.
“I think people will want to come here,” Wilder said. “I think people should want to come here because this club has got so much going for it.
“There’s the name, we’ve got a wonderful historic stadium and who wouldn’t want to play in front of our crowd, which hopefully will be allowed back in as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
“On top of that,” Wilder continued, “I think everyone has seen how brilliantly these lads have represented the football club and the way they’ve taken challenges on. I know if I was still playing, I’d be looking at that and fancying a bit of it myself.”
United’s negotiations with Reading, aimed at securing Swift’s release from the Madejski Stadium, continued over the weekend. Like Ramsdale, who started his career in South Yorkshire before moving to AFC Bournemouth, the midfielder has made it known he is interested in joining United, who finished ninth in last term. Ramsdale, the England under-21 international goalkeeper, has already been the subject of a £12m offer while United have also tabled a bid, understood to be worth £10m, for Nottingham Forest defender Cash. Leeds, Aston Villa and Milan are believed to be monitoring his situation at the City Ground.