Chris Wilder last night outlined plans to build his Sheffield United team “with” David Brooks after refuting claims Tottenham Hotspur have opened talks about signing the Wales international.
Brooks, aged 20, could make his 25th appearance of the season tonight when United resume their push for the Championship play-offs with a visit to Reading.
Wilder spoke publicly about the importance of keeping the youngster during the recent transfer window when it emerged a Premier League club had indicated they would pay over £10m to acquire his services.
It was a message the United manager repeated again before travelling to Berkshire, having called for greater clarity about events behind the scene at Bramall Lane, where co-owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is attempting to assume sole control.
“Spurs are a solid club and they do things the right way,” Wilder said. “Some clubs don’t. Some go through the back door and via an agent or to senior level to put them in a position. But my view is that David won’t be going anywhere as far as I’m concerned. One hundred per cent, I want to build. It’s disrespectful to say we want to build it around him because he’s a young kid but we want to build it with him.”
Although Spurs were not the responsible for the January enquiry, The Star revealed nearly a year ago they were monitoring his progress.
Wilder, who signed Cameron Carter-Vickers on loan before the summer transfer deadline, also dismissed suggestions Brooks could become distracted by the continued speculation.
“It goes with the territory,” he said. “It’s a compliment to him. It’s what makes the industry tick isn’t it. People don’t just report on games, they report on transfers and boardroom reshuffles and changes.
“The player has no problem. The player is as good as gold. We spoke to him before this about how his profile has changed. And we told him keep changing it, keep notching it up. We have to get him on the pitch first but he has that ability to excite.”
“Nobody has spoken to me about Brooksy from Spurs,” Wilder, whose team are eighth in the table, added. “We’ve got a good relationship with Spurs and if there was something going on, I’m sure they would have contacted me out of courtesy.”