Sheffield United: Chris Wilder presents the board with his recommendations for next month’s transfer window

Chris Wilder has spoken with both co-owners: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder has spoken with both co-owners: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United co-owners Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud have been presented with Chris Wilder's "recommendations" for next month's transfer window, as he attempts to bolster the club's promotion credentials. 

Wilder, the United manager, met with McCabe and his fellow businessman's representatives last month ahead of arguably the most critical period in the club's season. Those discussions resulted in the 51-year-old, whose side face Reading tomorrow evening, drawing-up a list of requests following talks with assistant Alan Knill and head of recruitment Paul Mitchell.

Kevin McCabe: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Kevin McCabe: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

A centre-forward is known to be Wilder's top priority, with an attacking midfielder also being targeted following confirmation that Ben Woodburn could be unavailable for selection until after Christmas due to an ankle injury. The Wales international's loan from Liverpool is scheduled to be reviewed before the New Year.

Acknowledging that United's position at the top end of the Championship means proven performers are required, Wilder said: "The have to come in now and be able to make an immediate difference. They have to. I think, we are fishing in a different pond now. 

"We have to be because we need players now who can make the difference and improve our squad and improve our existing players. John (Egan) has come in and raised levels. Ollie Norwood has come in and raised levels."

Both Norwood, whose loan from Brighton and Hove Albion will be made permanent shortly, and Egan, a £4m signing from Brentford, are expected to feature against Reading this evening as United attempt to close the six point gap between themselves and leaders Norwich City.

HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

With McCabe and Prince Abdullah both vying for sole control - a court case set to decide the issue is scheduled for May - fears have been expressed that uncertainty at board level could have a detrimental effect upon Wilder's ability to plan.

"There are some hugely powerful clubs around us and I've put my recommendations to the owners," he said, striking a conciliatory tone. "We all want to be pushing for the Premier League. I do. Both owners do. I know that."

"I'll do my best and get the maximum out of what I'm given," he added.

Despite exploring the possibility of signing top-flight centre-forwards struggling for game time with their parent clubs, Wilder admitted United will still investigate potential left-field opportunities after signing David McGoldrick and Conor Washington on free transfers before August's deadline.

"We will still look and explore different areas, like the David McGoldrick scenario and the Conor Washington scenario.," he said. "But we're identifying things in a different group at the moment."