Sheffield United transfer deadline state of play as Chris Wilder looks to land top target amid departures

The long month of January has drawn to a close and the transfer window is now in its final day. It has been a quiet month for transfers across the board in the Premier League but that is expected to ramp up on deadline day, with Sheffield United amongst the clubs looking to do some business in the final hours of the window.

Chris Wilder was open all along that this would be a window for quality, rather than quantity, with the United boss admitting from the start that he would not "take a wrecking ball" to his squad. No doubt he would have liked to make more additions, given United's struggles this season but budget restraints made it an even more difficult window than usual to work in. Wilder for his part has been on record thanking the board for their support in January, which has allowed him to bring in Ben Brereton Diaz and Ivo Grbic so far.

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Grbic has suffered a whirlwind start to his time in England so far, conceding seven times in two games before going off with suspected concussion at Crystal Palace on Tuesday, but striker Brereton Diaz has two goals in his two Premier League appearances for the Blades and that is exactly the type of impact Wilder is hoping to bring with the addition of a loan defender before the clock strikes 11pm tonight.

United have been left short of cover and competition at right-centre half with the injuries of Chris Basham and John Egan and although Wilder toyed with the idea of bringing in a mobile midfielder earlier in the window, he eventually decided a goalkeeper and a centre-half were more priority positions - with the imminent return to fitness of Tom Davies seen as a big milestone in United's season.

United's recruitment staff have cast the net far and wide in pursuit of reinforcements, with experience of Premier League football, or a comparable top-flight league, one of the main criteria. Many players of interest have been written about in these pages before, including Joe Worrall of Nottingham Forest and Everton duo Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate, but both Forest and the Toffees are thought to be not too enamoured with the prospect of strengthening a potential relegation rival in United for the second part of the season.

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That may change if United stumped up the cash for Worrall, with Forest understood to be asking £6m for the defender, but United boss Wilder expected the final piece of his jigsaw in this window to be a loan deal rather than a permanent move. A new name entered the conversation yesterday in the shape of giant Leicester City defender Harry Souttar, the brother of former United target John. Insiders at United later confirmed Souttar is a player of interest to Wilder, amid his lack of playing time with the Foxes under their new manager Enzo Maresca, but Souttar is away on international duty with Australia at the Asia Cup and if they go all the way to the final, will not return to England until mid this month.

Godfrey returned to the Everton side on Tuesday night away at Fulham, with boss Sean Dyche describing the England international as "unfortunate" not to have played more under his management. "We assured him a few days ago ... I assured him: 'You're in the mix, you're right there,'" said Dyche earlier this week. "And maybe now he understands about playing tonight.

"His defensive responsibility was clear, guarding the back post with a great clearance, the pace and strength he shows. Many different things. Picking a side that can win games is not always an easy task and sometimes it's not about someone not particularly playing well, sometimes it is of course and someone needs to come out. I don't think Patto [Nathan Patterson] has been doing badly but it was the right game to play Ben and he delivered a good performance."

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Crucially, United opened up a domestic loan slot when Luke Thomas' stay at Bramall Lane was cut short earlier this month and the decision is not thought to have damaged links between Bramall Lane and the King Power Stadium in terms of returning to the Midlands to enquire about Souttar's availability. There was also some talk earlier in the week about goalkeeper Wes Foderingham potentially leaving ahead of the window, which was complicated by Grbic's substitution at Selhurst Park on Tuesday.

If medical tests revealed that the Croatian was concussed by a blow to the head from Jean-Philippe Mateta, then he could miss Saturday's clash with Aston Villa - leaving the door open for Foderingham to return to the side. Discussions following Grbic's arrival saw Wilder and Foderingham agree that he would not play second fiddle to anyone, even if United do drop into the Championship next season, with Wilder admitting he didn't know where the situation would go from there. But Grbic's issue may mean that United err on the side of caution and keep Foderingham around for the remainder of the campaign, even if they do receive an approach for him ahead of the deadline.

Grbic's arrival does mean that one of United's senior goalkeepers will not be registered in the 25-man squad for the second half of the Premier League season, effectively rendering either Adam Davies or Jordan Amissah surplus to requirements. John Fleck has also enjoyed very little senior football in a season disrupted by injury, while Ismaila Coulibaly is expected to depart Bramall Lane before 11pm with clubs in Sweden, Belgium and Portugal known to be keeping tabs on his situation and United keen to get him out and playing football.

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