United look to keep loan ace

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SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson will open talks with Reading over the weekend in an effort to extend Marcus Williams’s loan beyond next Sunday’s Steel City derby.

Williams, who has missed United’s last two fixtures with a dead leg, is scheduled to return to Berkshire before Sheffield Wednesday visit Bramall Lane on October 16.

But Wilson, who last night revealed Nathaniel Mendez-Laing has definitely been ruled out of that match with a hamstring problem, said: “Ideally we’d like to try and keep Marcus if we can.

“We’ll speak with Reading and see what’s possible because it’s down to them.

“We’ll have to wait and see what they say but, from what we’ve seen of Marcus so far, we’d definitely like to work with him more if the opportunity arises.”

Williams, who has made three appearances since arriving on a month-long deal, has made no secret of his desire to remain in his native South Yorkshire.

With tomorrow’s League One fixture at Preston postponed until October 19 (kick-off 7.45pm) due to international commitments, United began preparing for the meeting with Gary Megson’s side immediately after Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy success over Rotherham.

Mendez-Laing pulled up before Ched Evans claimed a 96th-minute winner and is scheduled to return to parent club Wolverhampton Wanderers for assessment.

“There are still a few tests to be done,” said Wilson. “But at this stage we think Nathaniel is going to be out for around four weeks.

“He’ll go down to Wolves for them to look at him but we’re not sure whether he’ll stay there for his treatment.”

United’s home game with Hartlepool on December 31 now kicks off at 1pm.

Craig Burns has been promoted to finance director after David Harrop announced his departure.