As The Star revealed ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup tie at Bristol Rovers, Wilder made a series of “recommendations” to Bramall Lane’s hierarchy before Christmas after identifying a left-sided centre-half and midfielder as his top priorities.
Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, Ben Davies of Preston North End and Sampdoria’s Omar Colley are known to feature among the names Wilder is chasing as he attempts to change the course of a season which has seen his squad slip to the bottom of the table after losing 15 of its opening 17 games.
Although he recently conceded that United’s poor start to the campaign means Colley is unlikely to view a move to South Yorkshire as a desirable career option, Wilder remains convinced that the likes of Lingard and Davies, who also interest West Ham and Celtic respectively, will not be put off by United’s plight.
However, he has now stepped away from the negotiating table, preferring to hand responsibility for arranging discussions with the duo’s employers and representatives to members of United’s hierarchy.
“Of course it (the window) can make a difference to us,” Wilder said. “Because it’s an opportunity to bring in better players and that would benefit us.”
Lingard, aged 28, has been told he can leave Old Trafford after falling out of favour in recent months.
With United admitting their business before February 1st’s deadline will be limited to loan deals, Wilder hopes Lingard can be persuaded to use what would be a brief spell across the Pennines to increase his value ahead of a summer move elsewhere. Davies, meanwhile, seemingly has no intention of extending his contract at Deepdale although securing his services now would require brokering a ‘loan to buy’ arrangement with officials in Lancashire.
Despite acknowledging the “difficulty of doing business at this time of year”, Wilder will hope to see at least one new arrival in place before Tuesday’s home game against Newcastle.