Sheffield United's biggest names show the boss they don't want out during transfer window

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The performances of Sheffield United’s leading names in recent weeks prove they have no desire to engineer moves away from Bramall Lane during this month’s transfer window, manager Paul Heckingbottom insists.

With United now prohibited from registering new players after being placed under an embargo by the English Football League, fears have been expressed in some quarters that some of the club’s biggest names could be sold in order to solve the financial issues which saw them miss a scheduled payment relating to a previous deal.

Although Heckingbottom has reminded on numerous occasions of late that he has little influence over how United organise their affairs off the pitch, the 45-year-old repeatedly stresses that losing the likes of Iliman Ndiaye or Sander Berge would deal a blow to his squad’s hopes of delivering promotion.

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With that in mind, and aware that rival sides will be monitoring his employer’s situation closely, Heckingbottom has been encouraged by the attitude of both men - not only during matches but, perhaps more significantly, during daily training sessions at the Randox Health Academy.

“They’ve shown what they’re all about,” he told The Star. “They’ve shown they want to be a part of what we’re trying to do. That shines through, not only in terms of what they’re doing, but how they are around the place.”

Second in the Championship table and 13 points clear of third, United visit Wrexham in the FA Cup fourth round this weekend unbeaten since the beginning of November. Heckingbottom had wanted to bolster their attacking options before the forthcoming deadline for new signings. But unless United can settle their debt, or reach a compromise agreement with the creditor concerned, then that hope will be dashed. Potentially, given past case studies, for more than one window although United’s board of directors believe takeover talks, between owner Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and an as yet unnamed investor provide one possible solution to a problem which is threatening to divert the narrative surrounding Heckingbottom’s team away from its promotion drive.

“The way the lads have been performing, the way they’ve been going about things,” Heckingbottom said, “Well, it tells you everything.”