Sheffield United have yet to submit an official offer for Billy Sharp, writes James Shield.
Despite reports to the contrary, representatives of the League One club are not holding talks with Leeds aimed at re-signing their former centre-forward.
But sources close to both Elland Road and Bramall Lane, where Sharp progressed through the ranks before working with new United manager Nigel Adkins at Scunthorpe, Southampton and Reading, last night suggested the 50-year-old would be keen on exploring the possibility of resurrecting their partnership should the opportunity arise.
Adkins, who is scheduled to hold his first training session since taking charge later today, has promised to give every member of the squad he inherited from Nigel Clough the “opportunity” to cement a place in his starting eleven before making series forays into the transfer market.
A centre-half is Adkins’ immediate priority with Lee Turnbull, appointed as United’s chief scout five days ago, thought to have identified several potential targets.
Leeds also changed manager during the close season with Uwe Rosler, previously of Wigan Athletic and Brentford, providing his players with exactly the same guarantee.
That means Sharp’s long-term future in West Yorkshire might not be resolved until later this month although Turnbull’s presence is expected to accelerate United’s own recruitment process.
Leeds have been linked with a swoop for Jamie Murphy but United, who awarded him an improved contract earlier this year, are not inclined to part company with the midfielder and value him in excess of £1m.
Sharp started his career at United in 2004 before returning for a second spell three years later. Having worked under Adkins at Glanford Park, he enjoyed a spell on loan with Reading during the United chief’s reign at the Madejski Stadium.
Meanwhile, Gillingham have announced that Andy Hessenthaler, their assistant manager, is set to join Leyton Orient. United visit Priestfield on Saturday 8 August.
“I have two people in mind and discussions are ongoing,” Justin Edinburgh, the Gillingham manager, said.
Steven Davies, who finished last season on loan at Bramall Lane from Blackpool, has joined Bradford City on a 12 month deal.