Sheffield United have opened talks with transfer targets, Chris Wilder has revealed, as he warns about the danger of wasting time in the market
Sheffield United must be ready to move quickly when the transfer window reopens in January, manager Chris Wilder has admitted, after confirming talks have already taken place with potential new signings as he attempts to guide his team towards Premier League safety.
Revealing United will use the loan market to try and bolster a defence which has been ravaged by injury, Wilder insisted Bramall Lane should still prove a desirable destination for players despite their poor start to the season.
After losing nine of their first 10 outings since finishing ninth last term, United have prepared for Sunday’s game against Leicester City at the foot of the table and with doubts about the availability of both Enda Stevens and Ethan Ampadu.
With Jack O’Connell in danger of missing the rest of the campaign following knee surgery, Wilder, who has made a left-sided centre-half his top priority, said: “As I’ve always maintained, to get our targets two or three things need to come to the table. Sometimes you want to do something, the player involved wants to do something but their club isn’t keen. But I can’t wait. I can’t wait until mid-January or the end of January. There are a host of games over that period and our business needs to get done now.”
Marcos Rojo, the Manchester United defender, is known to boast admirers among United’s board of directors, with several members of the club’s hierarchy known to have considered launching a bid for his services earlier this year.
Wilder, who was monitoring Terence Kongolo, previously of Huddersfield Town, and Preston North End’s Ben Davies, added: “There are conversations. There won’t be permanent transfers. There will be loans. There’s been discussions through agents who represent players and through clubs as well.
“It’s a fluid situation, as you can imagine. I’d like to use both loans. I’ll be putting my recommendations to the board.”
Although filling the void created by O’Connell’s absence is Wilder’s immediate concern, he suggested United could look to bolster another area of their squad too. That is likely to be the midfield area, after John Lundstram was told he can depart after refusing to extend his deal which expires in the summer.
“There are a couple of positions we need to improve on, one that we all know,” Wilder said. “We need to be as strong as we possibly can, to get the results that we want to.”
"I still think people will look at us as a good pace to come, even with the situation we are in at the moment," Wilder added. "I think they'll look at it from a footballing point of view, because of how we play and how we go about things. I still think this is a really good place to come and I know there's that view within the game too. There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes and, like I say, there's conversations going on all the time about how we try and improve it."