Sheffield United: Steelmen name their price

Jamie Murphy
Jamie Murphy
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Motherwell will demand around £130,000 in compensation from Sheffield United should the South Yorkshire club appoint Stuart McCall as its new manager, writes James Shield.

McCall, who signed a two year contract at Fir Park towards the end of last season, held talks with representatives from Bramall Lane at a top secret location yesterday after being granted permission to explore the possibility of returning to a team he previously served as both a coach and a player.

Although discussions about a severance package were still on-going when United received the green light to meet McCall, all three parties involved in the deal sought assurances a deal could be reached before sitting down at the negotiating table.

Indeed, sources in Scotland have confirmed that Motherwell began searching for the 48-year-old’s replacement after receiving the approach following their match against St Johnstone.

The Star revealed earlier this month that United would wait until the end of the SPL campaign before making contact with their counterparts north of the border.

Contrary to reports, McCall did not cut short a break in Spain to discuss the United vacancy.

Motherwell’s coaching staff and first-team squad, who were celebrating their potential qualification for the Europa League on the Costa Blanca, flew back to Britain as scheduled 24 hours ago.

Despite insisting they would assess the claims of various different candidates before making an appointment, United have resolved not to deliberate too long given the challenges facing Danny Wilson’s successor.

“We are currently preparing the ground for the new manager to arrive, understanding the model we are operating to, the players that fit that model and those that don’t,” chief executive Julian Winter said.

“Then the new manager will decide who stays and who is free to go when he has had time to assess his options.”

They include former Scotland under-21 international Jamie Murphy who joined United from Motherwell in January.

McCall, who made nearly 100 appearances for United before departing in 2007, was asked to outline his methodology by Winter, director Scott McCabe and chairman David Green after Bramall Lane’s football rather than plc board took charge of the selection process.

Wilson’s reign came to an abrupt end last month with interim manager Chris Morgan among those also considered for the vacant role.

Morgan expressed his desire to take charge on a permanent basis following United’s defeat in the League One play-off semi-finals.

Among their pressing concerns is applying the finishing touches to a pre-season programme likely to involve a visit to Scotland.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1