MK Dons manager Karl Robinson is unlikely to have the final say on Kyle McFadzean’s future as the defender attempts to force through a move to Sheffield United.
Less than a week after the centre-half confirmed his desire to leave Buckinghamshire by submitting a formal transfer request, Robinson has launched a counter offensive in the battle for McFadzean’s services by refusing to meet with Chris Wilder’s side.
Robinson, who expressed an interest in taking charge of United before David Weir’s appointment three years ago, accepted the player appears destined to leave stadium:mk but will not be sold to a League One rival. But Bramall Lane’s negotiating team, aware that Robinson’s chairman Pete Winkleman will decide the Steelphalt Academy graduate’s fate, suspect Monday’s outburst is simply an attempt to spark a bidding war between themselves and several Championship teams also reportedly monitoring the situation.
McFadzean, who made one appearance for United before joining Alfreton in 2008, is believed to have set his heart on returning to the club he has supported since childhood. Robinson’s statement - “I don’t care if it makes a player unhappy...if they don’t want to turn up and get fined then fine. It’s not got to that with Kyle yet” - suggests the relationship between the two men is becoming increasingly strained.
Indeed, Robinson pointedly chose to namecheck McFadzean after confirming Paul Downing’s capture from Walsall.
“I’ve always liked Paul,” he said. “Between him, Kyle McFadzean and Joe Walsh, it’s a really strong back three competing. And they’re all a good age. I want a young, fresh, vibrant group.”
United targeted McFadzean after Wilder released Jay McEveley, Harrison McGahey and Terry Kennedy during a cull of the squad which finished 11th in the table under Nigel Adkins last term. With David Edgar and Alex Baptiste also leaving after their respective loan agreements expired, Wilder wants to sign at least two centre-halves before the start of the forthcoming campaign.
Talks with at least two other targets are thought to have reached an advanced stage as Wilder seeks to avoid a repeat of the ‘Dan Burn’ saga which overshadowed much of his predecessor’s reign. Burn, who recently joined Wigan Athletic, was the subject of at least four failed offers from United before leaving Fulham.
The Star understands, however, that Adkins’ refusal to consider alternative options complicated matters for negotiators acting on behalf of Bramall Lane’s hierarchy. Wilder, The Star understands, has taken altogether different approach with at least five potential acquisitions for every position handed to his board of directors.
“We know the players we want,” he said. “Good people.”