SHEFFIELD United signed Danny Coyne on a short-term contract to avert a potential goalkeeping crisis, The Star can confirm.
United, who last night announced Dave Kitson will remain with the club until at least the end of the season, agreed a 28 day deal with the former Wales international after George Long’s deputy was concussed during an FA Youth Cup tie at Rochdale.
Facing the possibility of being forced to name an outfield player between the posts should Long also sustain an injury, Bramall Lane’s hierarchy moved to recruit Coyne, aged 39, ahead of this afternoon’s League One encounter against Stevenage.
George Willis, who has featured on the bench ever since Mark Howard was diagnosed with a serious muscle problem, retired after 14 minutes of United’s first-round clash at Spotland in midweek.
Although medical staff gave him the all-clear, FA guidelines recommend he should not take part in competitive football for “seven to 10 days”.
Coyne, previously of Tranmere Rovers, Leicester City and Grimsby Town, could be named on the bench when Gary Smith’s side arrive in South Yorkshire later today.
Wilson used his pre-match media briefing to reveal that Kitson is unlikely to feature as he continues his rehabilitation following a hamstring complaint.
However, despite harbouring ambitions of moving to Major League Soccer in North America, the striker has verbally accepted United’s invitation to stay until May.
Contrary to reports, Kitson has yet to put pen to paper on his new contract but is scheduled to do so early next week.
Should United achieve promotion, the former Portsmouth marksman will then commit for a further 12 months.
Coyne won 16 senior caps after making his debut for the principality in 1996.
He has spent the past six weeks training with United at their Shirecliffe complex after Howard left the pitch on a stretcher at Leyton Orient last month.
However, United elected not to immediately offer him terms to leave room for manoeuvre beneath their Salary Cost Management Protocol spending threshold.