Sheffield United: Beavon can wait - Blades face long battle for striker

In demand: Wycombe forward Stuart Beavon.
In demand: Wycombe forward Stuart Beavon.
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DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, could find himself negotiating with a group of Wycombe Wanderers’ leading fans if he opts to press ahead with his bid to sign Stuart Beavon, writes James Shield.

The striker, who scored 25 goals for Gary Waddock’s side last term, has joined former Leeds defender Ben Parker and David Wotherspoon of Hibernian on United’s wanted list as the South Yorkshire club prepares to overhaul its first team squad in response to last month’s League One play-off final defeat.

But with a supporters trust hoping to buy Wanderers from Steve Hayes, who also owns rugby union outfit Wasps, the path to Beavon’s signature threatens to be far from smooth, with sources at Adams Park indicating last night that a committee of investors would be charged with overseeing transfers should the purchase go through.

The uncertainty surrounding the Buckinghamshire outfit’s short-term future is believed to be one reason why United, together with Millwall, Charlton Athletic, Derby County and Yeovil Town, have so far elected not to submit firm offers for the 28-year-old’s services although he seems destined to depart following Wanderers relegation last term.

Reports Beavon has undergone a medical at Bramall Lane are unfounded.

Matt Bloomfield, the Wanderers player and PFA representative, recently admitted the club could be set for a summer of uncertainty.

“The off season is always a weird time for a footballer with players coming and going,” he said. “Obviously this one has been a little bit different with all the off-field situations and everything that is going on behind the scenes.”

The trust are already being consulted by Wanderers on key issues.

Indeed its chairman, Trevor Stroud, suggested earlier this week that they had “no option” but to scrap the club’s youth academy in response to the new Elite Player Performance Plan.

Gareth Ainsworth, Wanderers veteran winger, has joined Waddock’s backroom staff but redundancies have been made in both the sports therapy and physiotherapy departments.

Together with Beavon, Millwall are also tracking Nick Montgomery after signing the United midfielder on loan towards the end of last season.

Kenny Jackett, Wilson’s counterpart at The New Den, will decide whether to pursue his interest after finalising contract negotiations with players already on Millwall’s books.

Montgomery also boasts admirers at County and Burnley.

Wilson, meanwhile, is still waiting to learn whether Chris Porter, Lee Williamson and Kevin McDonald will accept new contracts.

The trio were offered fresh deals soon after United’s defeat on penalties by Huddersfield Town at Wembley.

Although United would prefer to receive their final decisions before visiting Malta next month, no ultimatums have been issued.

DID YOU KNOW? Stuart Beavon, the Wycombe Wanderers striker, scored the only goal of the game when Sheffield United suffered a shock League One defeat at Adams Park in September.