Sheffield United hope to make at least two more signings before Friday’s Steel City derby, after manager Chris Wilder confirmed personal terms have been agreed with Southend’s Ryan Leonard.
Although manager Chris Wilder remained tight-lipped about the identity of those players on his wanted list following the weekend’s FA Cup victory over Ipswich Town, Manchester United centre-forward James Wilson and Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Lee Evans are believed to have attracted interest from Bramall Lane in recent days.
Wilder, who beat Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough earlier this term, could hand Leonard his debut against Jos Luhukay’s side at Bramall Lane after the 25-year-old completed the first part of his medical ahead of the third round tie at Portman Road. The second, which was rescheduled due to the timing of his arrival in South Yorkshire, is set to take place later today.
“I’m confident this week we’ll get a couple more players in as well,” Wilder said. “We’re delighted he (Leonard) is in the building and he’ll strengthen the group. Hopefully we’ll get two or three others to boost our numbers and give me the amount of problems (in terms of selection) I should have.”
Despite the lack of financial resources at his disposal, Wilder has proved adept at squeezing the most out of a meagre budget since taking charge 20 months ago.
United enter their latest meeting with Wednesday seventh in the Championship table; only a point behind sixth-placed Leeds.
Having spent an estimated £700,000 acquiring Leonard, Wilder has identified the loan market as a potential source of talent with Wilson, aged 22, thought to be a possible option.
Liverpool’s Ryan Kent was considered during the last transfer window but monetary issues meant Wilder could not submit a proposal to Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.
Evans, a year Wilson’s senior, has impressed on loan with Wigan Athletic but was withdrawn from the squad which faced AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.