Sheffield United boss’s Man United Zach Giggs transfer plan amid embargo frustration

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Blades have taken Man United youngster on trial

Manager Paul Heckingbottom is taking a hands-off approach as Sheffield United run the rule over Manchester United youngster Zach Giggs, who has been on trial at their Shirecliffe academy.

Giggs, the son of former Old Trafford legend Ryan, is expected to leave the Red Devils in the summer and mainly operates at left-back, but has also played centre-half. Aged 16, he has been capped by Wales at U15 level and has spent time with the original United as he looks to take the next step in his formative career.

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Any hopes United may have of bringing him in may hinge on their transfer embargo, however. The Blades would be unable to offer him a professional contract under the terms of their sanction from the EFL, for non-payment of outstanding transfer funds, or pay the Premier League giants compensation for the youngster.

Zach Giggs with his dad Ryan after Manchester United’s title win in 2009Zach Giggs with his dad Ryan after Manchester United’s title win in 2009
Zach Giggs with his dad Ryan after Manchester United’s title win in 2009

The embargo prevented United following up their interest in Silko Thomas and Ethan Brierley recently, of Chelsea and Rochdale respectively, while young striker Jevan Beattie – another reported Blades academy target – went on trial at Brighton recently.

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Boss Heckingbottom has made clear the importance of recruiting in the academy as well as first-team level – especially after recent departures of Will Lankshear and Kylan Midwood, poached by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City respectively.

But he is happy to delegate to academy boss Derek Geary, as he concentrates on the business of getting United over the line in the promotion race.

"There’s nothing I can say on [Giggs], but I know he’s in,” Heckingbottom said at his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s clash against Wigan Athletic at Bramall Lane.

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“It would be Del making a decision on that. We had a meeting last week talking about the scholars and the lads who are going to stay on and be a first-year professional.

“It’s important for me to be involved in it but I want them to back their decision as well. It wouldn’t be independent, but if someone has been working with a player for four weeks and wants to put their name to them, then brilliant. I’ll back them.

"I don’t know Zach’s situation. I am not privy to it at all. But we can’t sign players. We have had lads in who we want to sign, but we can’t sign them, and we have lost some, who have gone elsewhere or are on trial elsewhere now.

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“If we get the embargo lifted, we can start recruiting again."

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