Sheffield United: Blades won’t be ripped off over transfer target, says Chris Wilder

Ryan Leonard tackles Stefan Scougall
Ryan Leonard tackles Stefan Scougall
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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has warned Southend that he will not be held to ransom over a move for their star midfielder Ryan Leonard.

As The Star reported yesterday, United have had a bid rejected for Leonard, who turned 25 on Wednesday and has won Southend’s player of the year award for the last two seasons.

Leonard has another year left on his contract at Roots Hall after the Shrimpers exercised their right to extend it, but boss Phil Brown warned earlier this week that Leonard would not leave on the cheap.

Wilder confirmed last night that United have had a bid rejected for Leonard, and told Sheffield Live TV: “We’ve done it the right way.

“We’ve gone through the front door, I spoke to Phil and put a bid in, he’s recognised that and they’ve put it in their local press, it’s been in our local press and we’ll see where it goes.

“If we come to a number we agree on and that we think is value, then we’ll get something done. But if it goes above that, then we’ll move on.”

Wilder also confirmed a bid for Charlton’s Ricky Holmes, who played under him at Northampton Town.

“We will pay decent money for players,” Wilder said, “but the club will be here long after me, there’s no way we’re going to go into financial meltdown.

There’s got to be progression but within a structure.”