Sheffield United set their transfer budget for next month's window
Sheffield United have presented Chris Wilder with his budget for next month’s transfer window, although it could increase if John Lundstram is sold after rejecting the club’s offer of a new contract.
After making a new centre-half his top priority when the market reopens, talks aimed at delivering one of the potential targets Wilder has identified remain on-going ahead of Sunday’s visit to Southampton.
Although the exact amount placed at Wilder’s disposal is a closely guarded secret, The Star understands United would consider reinvesting any monies received should Lundstram confirm his departure after Christmas. Despite fears the midfielder has already reached agreement with a rival club - which could see him leave for nothing at the end of the present campaign - Wilder’s admission that he hopes to offload the former England youth international, whose deal expires in the summer, suggests those are wide of the mark. However it is believed Lundstram’s representative has not communicated any details of his client’s intentions to United’s coaching staff, with Wilder still holding out some hope they will relent and accept the proposal he tabled earlier this year.
After losing Jack O’Connell to a knee injury and seeing Enda Stevens and Ethan Ampadu join him on the treatment table, United have been forced to select the inexperienced Kean Bryan on the left hand side of their rearguard for recent games against West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City.
Despite praising the youngster’ performances, and hearing Bryan insist he is “determined” to take his chance, Wilder believes that has revealed the need to sign a tried and tested replacement to cover in O’Connell’s absence.
Having lost 10 of their 11 outings so far this season - a run of results which sees them travel to St Mary’s at the bottom of the Premier League table - United are preparing to use loans to bolster the options at Wilder’s disposal. That rules-out a move for Ben Davies of Preston North End, who together with former Huddersfield Town defender Terence Kongolo, attracted the manager’s attention during the last window. But Manchester United’s Marcos Rojo has emerged as a possible alternative, with the Argentine known to boast admirers among Wilder’s board.