Sheffield United: Progress made as Billy Sharp contract discussions continue

Sheffield United are making progress in their contract talks with several of their most influential names, manager Paul Heckingbottom has confirmed.

Thursday, 21st April 2022, 5:00 am
Updated Thursday, 21st April 2022, 7:43 am

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Captain Billy Sharp and defender Chris Basham, who made his first start since mid-February at Bristol City on Monday, are among those whose deals are set to expire at the end of the season.

Although officials at Bramall Lane have reminded the fact they boast 12 month options on the duo and several others approaching the end of their agreements means there is no cause for alarm, the issue continues to be a talking point as United attempt to qualify for the Championship play-offs.

Chris Basham and Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp (centre): David Klein / Sportimage

Sharp told The Star earlier this term that he wanted the matter resolved as quickly as possible, and met with a representative of the board to discuss his situation last month.

Heckingbottom, whose side face Cardiff City this weekend before completing their schedule with games against Queens Park Rangers and Fulham, said: “There is movement, yes. Things are moving on that. It’s just that I’m not in a position to discuss it at the moment. When there is something to say, and I am, then rest assured you (the media) will be the first to know.”

Sharp’s invitation to meet United’s hierarchy suggests there is a desire to renegotiate the terms of the extension clause contained within his present contract. Although that could have proven a frustration for the 36-year-old, sources with knowledge of the process indicate he is minded to accept the proposal which is thought to have been tabled before the Bank Holiday period - albeit possibly after making a few minor adjustments.

Paul Heckingbottom wants Billy Sharp and Chris Basham (pictured) to stay at Bramall Lane: Darren Staples / Sportimage

Ben Osborn, Luke Freeman and Lys Mousset are also among those facing uncertain futures in South Yorkshire while David McGoldrick is also poised to become a free agent. He will miss the remainder of the campaign after undergoing surgery to correct a muscle injury.

In what was interpreted as an attempt to speed up United’s talks with the likes of Sharp and Basham, Heckingbottom has publicly stated he wants both to remain at the club.

United enter their clash with City sixth in the table, a point above seventh placed Millwall.