Confirming the club’s focus immediately switched to planning for the new campaign following Tuesday’s defeat in the Championship play-off semi-finals, the 44-year-old confirmed he hopes to fill the majority of those positions by using the transfer market rather than promoting from within.
Central defence, midfield and attack are all priority areas, with the futures of loanees such as Morgan Gibbs-White, Ben Davies and Conor Hourihane all uncertain following United’s failure to reach the Premier League. Talks are also planned with goalkeeper Adam Davies and Croatia international Filip Uremovic, signed on a short-term basis from Rubin Kazan, over the coming days before Heckingbottom finalises his recruitment strategy.
“Recruitment is key,” he said. “We’ve got a good group, a good few tied down and we need six or seven positions sorting. Be that with people already in the building, loans or from elsewhere.
“It’s my job now to start pushing that. “e’re looking at six or seven (areas).”
United confirmed Billy Sharp, Chris Basham, Ben Osborn and Jack Robinson will all be remaining in South Yorkshire before being beaten by Nottingham Forest on penalties in the end-of-term knockouts. But David McGoldrick, Lys Mousset and Luke Freeman were all informed their contracts would be renewed, as Heckingbottom looks to refresh the options at his disposal.
Despite recently stating coaching staff have yet to receive a concrete budget, Heckingbottom plans to begin pressing ahead with that job almost immediately.
“It’s my job to drive things,” he said. “I know what we’re looking at.”