Sheffield United Transfers: James McAtee reveals Blades “option” amid Leeds United interest

McAtee scored in what is his final Blades appearance as things stand and sent a message to United afterwards
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James McAtee has thanked Sheffield United’s players, staff and fans for treating him “like family” during his loan spell at Bramall Lane this season after admitting a return to United next season is “definitely an option”.

The Manchester City youngster established himself as a real fan favourite after overcoming a difficult start to life in South Yorkshire to help the Blades to promotion. His nine-goal return was more than respectable and put him as United’s third-highest scorer after Iliman Ndiaye and Oli McBurnie’s 15 apiece, adding five assists for good measure in his 43 appearances.

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Although United have virtually no chance of signing McAtee on a permanent basis, they would be open to another loan deal next season and have impressed City with their handling of McAtee and his teammate, Tommy Doyle, this season.

And, speaking after marking his farewell appearance for now at Birmingham City on Monday with United’s goal in a 2-1 win, McAtee was asked about the possibility of returning to Bramall Lane next season. “I have not had any talks like that,” he said.

“I have just been focusing on the season. I’m going to have to go and have a bit of a holiday and then start talking to my people.”

Asked if he would be interested, McAtee admitted: “Yeah, 100 per cent. They have treated me very nicely and trusted me all the way, so it’s definitely an option. I want to be playing in the best league in the world, just like everyone does. It’s the next step in my career.

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“It was a bit of a rollercoaster at the start but at the back end of the season, I have loved it. I love the fans, the players and all the staff. It’s been an amazing journey and amazing season.

“Everyone can see that I have developed; I have got a little bit bigger and a bit more comfortable playing in front of fans. I have developed massively.”

McAtee also penned a farewell message to United on his Instagram account, writing: “Happy to score on the last game of the season. Big thanks to my teammates, staff and to the fans for treating me like family. Once a Blade ... ❤️⚔️”

Teammates including Doyle, McBurnie and John Egan responded to McAtee’s Instagram post, and fan Louise Cousins added: “Absolute class. We will never forget what you did for us! UTB ❤️ 🤍 🖤.”

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Jack Walters asked: “One more season in the Premier League?” while Moya Grayson posted: “OMG James McAtee what can I say! You have been totally amazing and a joy to watch. Hope you are back with us next year, but if it’s not to be I wish you all the best for your very amazing future. Thanks for everything this year.”

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