Sheffield United told it is "important" they replace Reading-bound scouting expert
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Jared Dublin, who spent nearly six years working at Bramall Lane alongside talent guru Paul Mitchell, moved to the Select Car Leasing Stadium last month after agreeing to become head of scouring for Paul Ince’s employers.
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As a highly respected and admired member of staff at United, Heckingbottom told The Star it is vital the vacancy created by Dublin’s departure is soon filled. However, with United still operating under a transfer embargo and Dozy Mmobuosi’s proposed takeover still yet to be ratified by the English Football League, it is unlikely the American will be replaced until those off-the-pitch issues are resolved.
Speaking ahead of his team’s visit to Berkshire, where they hope to strengthen their grip on an automatic promotion place, Heckingbottom said: “Jared has gone, he’s at Reading now, and I’m not too sure about his exact position because I’m totally focused on what’s happening here.
“Of course we wish him well, I think that goes without saying. As I’ve always maintained, my priority is what’s going on here and these are the kind of things we want to be improving on. There’s a big workload on Mitch now, and also (assistant manager) Stuart (McCall) and (head of player development) Jack (Lester).”
Under the terms of the punishment imposed by the EFL, United are also unable to award new contracts to any of those squad members whose contracts either could or will expire this summer. They include Oli McBurnie, Enda Stevens, Billy Sharp and John Fleck, who has confirmed his agreement contains a 12 month extension clause loaded in United’s favour.
Heckingbottom, whose second placed side enter the meeting with Reading four points clear of Middlesbrough in third, admitted he had received “no” updates on the progress of Mmobousi’s attempted purchase or United’s efforts to lift their ban on processing new signings before the meeting with Ince’s team. Reading are ranked 15th, having been thrashed 5-0 by Michael Carrick’s men on Saturday.