Sheffield United: Which promotion trio are the Blades ready to offer new deals?

Billy Sharp
Billy Sharp
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Sheffield United are preparing to offer Billy Sharp, Chris Basham and Paul Coutts extended contracts.

The move, which comes as United grow increasingly confident of signing Charlton Athletic forward Ricky Holmes, has been made less than a week after manager Chris Wilder commited his own long-term future to Bramall Lane.

Paul Coutts and Billy Sharp

Paul Coutts and Billy Sharp

Wilder, who has cancelled youngster David Brooks’ loan to Chesterfield, described the decision as show of faith in the influential trio’s talents but insisted their proposed deals must would still adhere to the club’s wage structure.

“We’re in the process of putting those contracts out and offering contracts,” Wilder said.

“Then, we’ll get the reply. “We want them to stop. All of them have been offered a minimum of two years, which says, from me to them, that we want them here.”

Wilder, who has verbally agreed his own new deal with United’s board of directors, added: “There’s a cake there and there are only so many slices.

Chris Basham

Chris Basham

“I wouldn’t want people to go by offering them unbelievably reduced terms so they automatically turn them down.

“We don’t just want to run their contracts down. They’ll have to make a decision, when they get those offers, about whether they sign them or sit tight.

“I respect that because it’s their decision. But all of those we’ve offered two-year deals to, yes, we want them to stay.”

United, meanwhile, are poised to press ahead with their attempts to sign Southend captain Ryan Leonard and Holmes.

Representatives acting on the League One champions’ behalf believe both players have set their hearts on moves to South Yorkshire and could force the issue when their respective clubs begin pre-season training this morning.

Holmes has pointedly refused to accept the improved terms Charlton tabled after The Star, who reported Wilder was planning to hold talks with Sharp, Coutts and Basham earlier this month, first revealed United’s interest.

Leonard is also known to be unhappy that Southend are attempting to prevent him from joining Wilder’s squad.

Brooks, an England under-20 international, had been scheduled to report for duty at the Proact Stadium today. But Wilder told his opposite number, Gary Caldwell, the move was off - for the time being at least - after the teenager excelled at the recent Toulon Tournament.

“David’s progression over the summer was first class,” Wilder explained. “We’ve spoken to Chesterfield and I can understand their disappointment. I was upfront with Gary but I’ve got to do what’s right by this football club first.”