Sheffield United: Call for quick action as transfer targets from Hibs and Chelsea emerge while Leeds United watch on
Paul Heckingbottom has urged Sheffield United to act quickly in the transfer market this summer, in order to avoid missing out on some of his leading targets.
The 44-year-old, who led the club into the Championship play-offs after taking charge in November, is keen to avoid a repeat of the mistakes his predecessor Slavisa Jokanovic felt contributed to its poor start to the 2021/22 season when progress was only made towards the end of the window.
Although Heckingbottom has remained tightlipped on the details of his discussions with United’s hierarchy, sources last night confirmed the 44-year-old stressed the importance of ensuring the majority of the changes he is planning are actioned upon long before competition resumes in July.
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Speaking earlier this month, Heckingbottom identified “six or seven” issues within United’s squad which need addressing in order for them to bounce back from their semi-final defeat by Nottingham Forest.
“We know the areas we’re looking at,” he said. “We know what we want to do.”
With loanees such as Morgan Gibbs-White, Ben Davies and Conor Hourihane all set to depart later this month and Filip Uremovic scheduled to rejoin Rubin Kazan, United’s recruitment department have identified numerous potential signings they believe will be within budget.
Hibernian left-back Josh Doig has been linked with a switch to South Yorkshire after scouts from Bramall Lane watched him in action for the Edinburgh outfit last term, while Chelsea’s Jake Clarke Salter is thought to have been monitored following a series of impressive displays for Coventry City.
However, Leeds are also believed to rate the defender highly.
Doig’s team mate Kevin Nisbet was the subject of interest from United during Chris Wilder’s reign.
Meanwhile, United’s John Egan and Enda Stevens have been called-up for the Republic of Ireland’s forthcoming Nations League games against Scotland, Armenia and Ukraine. The meeting with Ukraine will take place in Poland, following Russia’s invasion of the former Soviet state earlier this year.
Conor Hourihane, who spent last term on loan with United, has also been selected by Stephen Kenny.
Youngsters Oliver Arblaster and Finley Potter will link-up with England under-18’s shortly after being summoned by head coach Ryan Garry.