Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has now formally agreed the terms of his new contract, The Star understands.
The 50-year-old’s assistant Alan Knill, head of sports science Matt Prestridge and Paul Mitchell, the Championship club’s head of recruitment, have also accepted the deals presented to them by co-owners Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud last week.
An official announcement, confirming Wilder and his backroom staff are remaining at Bramall Lane, could be made later today with the quartet presented to the media as early as tomorrow.
The development is significant because, not only does it mark the end of Sunderland’s interest in acquiring their services, it also reveals Wilder’s recruitment budget for this summer’s transfer window has also been set.
McCabe and Prince Abdullah, who are both battling for sole control after their business agreement broke down, have agreed to increase the amount at his disposal following United’s impressive performances last term.
Although the exact sum remains a closely guarded-secret, it is thought to favourably compare with the majority of middle-ranking teams in the division.
The previous campaign saw United, who eventually finished 10th, enter the penultimate match of the season chasing play-off qualification despite resources which suggested they should have been fighting against relegation instead.
Wilder, who provisionally accepted United’s offer of an improved contract on Friday, had always maintained he wanted to remain in South Yorkshire despite complaining about a lack of “clarity” and “harmony” behind the scenes.
Sources in the North East yesterday told this newspaper that Sunderland would have attempted to exploit the situation by making an official approach for Wilder today after Stewart Donald’s buy-out was approved by the English Football League.
But with United’s hierarchy moving to secure Wilder’s future, the Oxfordshire based businessman must now look elsewhere in his search for Chris Coleman’s successor instead.
McCabe and Prince Abdullah, who held face to face talks seven days ago, privately briefed Wilder on their respective takeover bids within hours of the meeting in London.
Despite failing to reach an agreement which would allow one to step aside, the two men are thought to have assured Wilder that steps will be taken to prevent boardroom politics overshadowing on-the-pitch affairs while the matter remains unresolved.