Sheffield United: Blades stay on Holmes trail

Ricky Holmes
Ricky Holmes
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Sheffield United are refusing to withdraw their bid for Ricky Holmes, despite Charlton Athletic’s insistence that the forward is not for sale.

Boss Chris Wilder, whose squad travel to Spain later today for warm-weather training, has made no secret of his desire to sign Holmes since The Star revealed representatives acting on behalf of Bramall Lane had made a formal enquiry two months ago.

Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder

Although Karl Robinson, Wilder’s managerial counterpart at The Valley, has publicly dismissed United’s chances of capturing the 30-year-old, the Blades plan to leave their offer on the table in an attempt to force the situation.

Southend captain Ryan Leonard, who recently admitted he “expected” to stay at Roots Hall after attracting interest from United, Bolton Wanderers and Millwall, also remains on the South Yorkshire club’s wanted list.

“Both of the others, it’s still where it is,” Wilder said. “Things happen that we can’t do anything about. We’ll leave them there. We’ll see where we are. If it doesn’t happen, we move on.”

While United’s coaching staff and players continue their preparations for the new season at their base in Marbella, the Championship outfit’s transfer negotiators will press ahead with talks regarding Wilder’s other targets.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell, who spent last season on loan at United, has been discussed by the Blades and parent club Wolverhampton Wanderers. Darragh Lenihan, the Blackburn Rovers youngster, was the subject of a bid last week and it remains unclear if Richard Stearman’s move to the Lane signals the end of their interest.

Stearman became the fifth new arrival since last season’s League One title triumph after agreeing a three-year contract on Thursday. The centre-half is set to join Ched Evans, Enda Stevens, Nathan Thomas and George Baldock on the Costa del Sol ahead of Friday’s friendly against Malaga.

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