Sheffield United: Club is warned about the danger of being careless with contracts

Martin Cranie is hoping to earn a new contract with Sheffield United
Martin Cranie is hoping to earn a new contract with Sheffield United

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, wants to ensure all of his leading players are tied to long-term contracts after warning about the dangers of letting their present deals run down.

Republic of Ireland international Enda Stevens and fellow defender Kieron Freeman are expected to put pen to paper shortly after Chris Basham committed his future to the Championship club a fortnight ago.

Although he accepts preparations for the January transfer window must take precedence during the build-up to the Christmas period, Wilder has insisted it would be a mistake not to protect the investment United have made in those players already at their disposal.

"Ideally, we don't want anyone we want to be here or who wants to be here entering the final year, or the final six months (of their contracts)," he said. "I don't think that suits anybody to be honest and it's something we've worked hard on over the past couple of years.

"It helps you to plan and it helps players too, knowing what they are going to be doing, so that's why it's something we've taken a look. And, I've got to say, I think we've got much better at it as well."

"We want to get the things we've been working on done as quickly as possible," Wilder, speaking earlier this month, added. "We want to get all that stuff sorted out because it helps with the direction."

The Republic of Ireland's Enda Stevens (right) is being offered fresh terms: Lorraine O'Sullivan/PA Wire.

The Republic of Ireland's Enda Stevens (right) is being offered fresh terms: Lorraine O'Sullivan/PA Wire.

Stevens and Freeman, who has been recognised by Wales at senior level this term, have both been invited to the negotiating table after helping United climb to fourth in the table ahead of Saturday's visit to Rotherham.

Basham, who is now tied to the club until 2021, became the latest senior player to commit his future to the team after John Fleck and Jack O'Connell were among those to reach agreement last term.

Martin Cranie, who signed a short-term contract earlier this year, is also expected to hold discussions with United's coaching staff and hierarchy over the coming weeks.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says the club is doing good work with contracts: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says the club is doing good work with contracts: Simon Bellis/Sportimage