Although the revised offer made to Lundstram and his representative earlier this year is set to remain on the table - manager Chris Wilder admitting during the close season that he would “love” the player to accept the proposal - senior figures at Bramall Lane have now reluctantly decided to consider any bids they receive for the former England under-20 international when the market reopens in nine weeks time.
Despite insisting the package of terms they presented to Lundstram towards the end of last term was non-negotiable - they were thought to include an improved salary and various other performance-related incentives - United are believed to have recently adjusted some of the details in an attempt to break the impasse.
But with that gesture of goodwill failing to elicit the desired response, coaching staff are now planning to enter the second half of the campaign without the services of a player who has scored eight times in 94 appearances since leaving Oxford in July 2017.
Out of respect for Lundstram’s contribution in United colours - after helping them win promotion from the Championship 18 months ago, five of his goals for the club have come in the top-flight - Wilder and his staff are unlikely to circulate the 26-year-old’s name to rival teams ahead of the Christmas period. But they are now prepared to sanction Lundstram’s departure before he becomes a free agent this summer, providing an acceptable bid is received.
Burnley, Crystal Palace and Rangers were all reportedly monitoring Lundstram’s situation during the last window, but neither Wilder nor his board of directors received a concrete approach from either Turf Moor, Selhurst Park or Ibrox.
United, who host Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime, had been set to lose Lundstram for nothing at the end of the 2019/20 campaign. But after considering their options and initially believing it would be possible to reach a compromise, they triggered a clause tying him to the club for another 12 months.