Sheffield United are believed to have held talks with a number of Premier League clubs, including FA Cup winners Chelsea, to explore the possibility of signing some of their players on loan next season.
Despite being informed his recruitment budget is being improved by co-owners Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, manager Chris Wilder believes striking temporary deals for top-flight talent represents Bramall Lane’s best chance of bridging the financial divide which still exists between themselves and the Championship’s richest clubs.
The Star understands United struck-up an excellent relationship with senior figures at Stamford Bridge during the negotiations which saw goalkeeper Jamal Blackman spend last term in South Yorkshire. With Wilder and his staff also boasting contacts at Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, the 50-year-old is investigating the possibility of bolstering his options with youngsters earmarked as future first-teamers in both London and the North-West.
Blackman, the former England under-19 goalkeeper, could yet be offered the chance to return to South Yorkshire although United are also known to be monitoring a number of alternative targets capable of competing with Simon Moore and Jake Eastwood.
Although the majority of Wilder’s work will focus on permanent acquisitions, gaining access to top-flight development squads could allow United to work with talent otherwise beyond their reach.
Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham enjoyed a successful spell with Bristol City earlier in his career while the likes of Harry Kane was placed with Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester before making the breakthrough at Spurs.
A centre-half and two new centre-forwards feature among United’s other priorities, despite Wilder’s belief that Leon Clarke and Billy Sharp can both continue their recent good form.