Sheffield United: Players could leave during next month’s transfer window

Sheffield United's coaching staff, led by Chris Wilder, could have some decisions to make next month: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Sheffield United's coaching staff, led by Chris Wilder, could have some decisions to make next month: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has refused to rule-out the possibility of allowing players to leave Bramall Lane on loan during next month's transfer window.

With a centre-forward known to be his top priority, coupled with an attacking midfielder if funding allows, Wilder is focusing on bolstering his squad for the second-half of the campaign.

But after expressing concerns that stockpiling talent could have a detrimental effect upon morale behind the scenes, Wilder acknowledged the subject of departures could also be raised during talks with chief excecutive officer Steve Bettis and Carl Shieber, United's head of football administration.

"We'll have to look at the dynamics of the squad," he said. "We feel the numbers are right, we don't want the squad to be bloated. If we feel someone won't get a game then maybe. 

"There's on-going discussions with them (the board) and Carl and Steve. But at the moment, we feel we're competitive."

United slipped to sixth in the Championship table ahead of Saturday's visit to Reading after being narrowly beaten by Leeds last weekend. The story of the game - his team enjoyed long periods of possession but failed to open the scoring before conceding a late goal - will only strengthen Wilder's belief that more firepower is required if United are to realise their potential this term.

The Premier League loan market, where United have operated successfully in recent years, is viewed as the most obvious source of fresh talent. 

Although Wilder has confirmed United will delay contract discussions with the likes of Enda Stevens and Kieron Freeman in order to concentrate their efforts on securing his targets, coaching staff are also monitoring the progress of those young players placed on loan with lower league clubs.

"We're looking at on-going stuff including existing contracts and players who are coming to an end with their contracts," he said. "We're also looking at the young lads like Tyler (Smith), Regan (Slater), Sam (Graham); seeing what the next step for them is. 

"There's lads like Ben (Heneghan) and Nathan (Thomas) too. It's a constant dialogue, not just who we can get in in January."