Sheffield United will hold further talks with Wolverhampton Wanderers later this week as Paul Lambert prepares to reveal if he will allow Ethan Ebanks-Landell to remain at Bramall Lane until the end of the season.
As The Star revealed before Thursday’s victory over Coventry City, the League One club’s hierarchy raised the idea of signing Ebanks-Landell permanently when they first made contact with their counterparts at Molineux last month.
Although Lambert, the Wolves manager, has yet to announce whether the on-loan centre-half will be recalled midway through his agreement, United are thought to have been encouraged by reports that bolstering their attacking rather than defensive options is his priority in the transfer market.
That, coupled with the player’s decision to publicly state he wants to stay in South Yorkshire, could tip the balance in United’s favour.
Likewise their offer to buy Ebanks-Landell outright if a fee can be agreed.
“We need to try and get somebody in to give them (the strikers) a hand,” Lambert said.
“That’s what we need to try and do. Competition is vital.”
With Richard Stearman, Danny Batth, Kortney Hause and Mike Williamson among the centre-halves at Wolves’ disposal, Lambert added: “I think you need at least four centre forwards and four centre halves, every other position has two. It’s a long season and centre halves and centre forwards get kicked.”
United will enter Boxing Day’s fixture against Oldham Athletic second in the table after Bolton Wanderers were beaten 1-0 by Chesterfield last weekend. Ebanks-Landell, aged 24, is expected to make his 18th appearance for Chris Wilder’s side when Oldham visit South Yorkshire while James Wilson could also return following injury.
“We’ve put ourselves in a good position and now we want to cement that during the second half of the season,” Wilder said. “But that’s all we’ve done at the moment, put ourselves in a good position. We haven’t achieved what we want to yet.”