Sheffield United: Midfielder who has fallen 'in love' with The Blades is hoping for a new contract

Ben Osborn wants to remain at Sheffield United next season, after revealing he has fallen in “love” with the club and the city it represents.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 4:59 pm

The former Nottingham Forest midfielder could become a free agent this summer, when his contract at Bramall Lane is scheduled to expire.

Despite indicating United have yet to open talks about an extension - or reveal if they plan to trigger any retention clauses within his present deal - Osborn told The Star: “Of course I would like to be here. I’ve loved my time so far and I love Sheffield too.

“If the club show that they want me then, as far as I’m concerned, great. I’d love to stay.”

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Aged 27, Osborn is among a number of high-profile players whose futures at United are shrouded in doubt. Speaking earlier this month, defender Chris Basham confirmed manager Paul Heckingbottom wants him to continue his career in South Yorkshire although a firm offer from the board has yet to be tabled. Strikers Billy Sharp, David McGoldrick and Lys Mousset have also entered the final months of their existing agreements, together with Jack Robinson, Adlene Guidioura and Luke Freeman.

Four members of Heckingbottom’s squad - including Morgan Gibbs-White and Conor Hourihane - are on season long loans.

Another, AS Roma and Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen, is understood to be attracting interest from Aston Villa. However, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Championship fixture at Derby County, Heckingbottom stressed United must be allowed to recruit a replacement before Olsen is allowed to depart.

Sheffield United midfielder Ben Osborn is out of contract this summer: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

A regular start under Slavisa Jokanovic, before the Serb was sacked in November, Osborn has found opportunities harder to come by under the new regime with Heckingbottom, who will miss the trip to Pride Park after testing positive for Covid-19, electing to switch formation.

However the 44-year-old, who wants to sign Heart of Midlothian centre-half John Souttar, went out of his way to talk up Osborn’s importance as preparations for the visit to the east Midlands gathered pace.

Relegated from the Premier League last term, United enter the latest round of fixtures eight points behind sixth placed Huddersfield Town but with four games in hand on their Yorkshire rivals.

Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, admires Ben Osborn's versatility and intelligence: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“Who knows what it going to happen, and where we are going to be,” Osborn said. “But I’d like to be here.”

Ben Osborn hopes to feature against Derby County this weekend: Simon Bellis / Sportimage