Sheffield United: Manager reveals the type of player he wants to sign this window
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After confirming Khadra had asked to cut short his season long loan from Brighton and Hove Albion, Heckingbottom admitted he is not necessarily looking to sign a player with the same skill set as the Germany under-21 international after losing strikers Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie to injury.
But Heckingbottom appears to have ruled-out drafting in someone from overseas, given the position his team finds itself in the Championship. Ranked second and nine points clear of third placed Blackburn Rovers, where Khadra excelled during a placement last term, United hope to consolidate their grip on an automatic promotion place over the coming months.
Despite takeover talks between owner Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and an as yet unnamed investor placing even greater pressure on United’s already parlous budget, Heckingbottom remains hopeful of being able to bring in at least one new face before the transfer window closes later this month, saying: “I’m just looking at attacking players. We might be hamstrung by our finances. We might not."
Asked if United are scouring foreign as well as domestic markets, Heckingbottom added: “We’re looking everywhere as you would expect. But one of the thing for me, if we’re bringing in someone for four months, then it’s pointless taking a risk on someone who doesn’t know the league. I think, unless there’s something possible at the end of it, then it’s better if they know that or have a good knowledge of the club.”
Khadra agreed to join Birmingham City ahead of United’s visit to Millwall in the FA Cup tomorrow, having been omitted from the squads which faced Blackpool and Queens Park Rangers over the Christmas and New Year period. Despite being viewed as a major coup when he was unveiled before the start of the new campaign, Khadra has failed to make an impression since moving to South Yorkshire and only enjoyed limited opportunities.
As well as complicating his efforts in the market, the uncertainty surrounding the future of United’s board last night prompted Heckingbottom to confirm he is not in a position to conclude contract talks with any of those players whose deals could expire at the end of the campaign. Although those whose agreements contain potential extension clauses can not speak to rivals this month, United’s coaching staff have made no secret of their desire to address the situation as quickly as possible.
Telling journalists he has “not heard” of reports lining midfielder John Fleck with a return to Rangers, Heckingbottom said: “It’s not the players not committing. It’s us not being in a position to do anything.
“They are playing for us and they are playing for themselves. We try and do everything as a team, and we always speak about no one being able to do it on their own.”
“I’m sure some of their agents will be speaking to clubs and other clubs will know their situation so, when we get to know what is happening (regarding the takeover) then that (contracts) has got to be first on the agenda.”