What Chris Wilder will tell Sheffield United chief's during today's transfer summit

Chris Wilder has warned that any player who joins Sheffield United during next month’s transfer window must be proven top-flight performers, after admitting the club’s disappointing start to the season means its days of developing Premier League footballers are over.

Thursday, 24th December 2020, 10:49 am

Wilder, who has made a left-sided centre-half and new midfielder his number one priorities, will remind Bramall Lane’s hierarchy about the importance of focusing on high-calibre signings during a meeting with directors and chief executive Steve Bettis later today.

Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard and Omar Colley of Sampdoria both feature on the manager’s wanted list, following consultations with his head of recruitment Paul Mitchell. However a number of alternative options were included among the “recommendations” Wilder and Mitchell presented to owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud earlier this month.

Confirming United will be pursuing temporary rather than permanent deals, Wilder said: “I’m looking to make the team better of course.

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Sheffield United's manager Chris Wilder (L) and chief executive Steve Bettis: Scott Merrylees

“We have to bring them in and see if we can polish them up at times. But for me, the time has come to bring a couple in who go straight in and improve the team. The board and the owners understand that.

“We’re looking at a couple of positions and one that I’ve talked consistently about. We want them to come in and give us a spark.”

“There’s always an appetite from me to get things done straight away. There’s always a situation with a player, a club and an agent. I want them in the building straight away. There’s always a rush at the end (of the window) though and everyone is scratching their head. But that’s because everyone is waiting and everyone is holding out.”

United are preparing for Boxing Day’s game against Everton at the bottom of the table, having lost 12 and drawn two of their 14 outings in the competition so far. With Sander Berge joining Jack O’Connell on the treatment table - it could be March before either returns to action - Wilder wants United to conclude their transfer business quickly, with six games, including an FA Cup tie at Bristol Rovers, featuring on their fixture schedule between next week’s visit to Burnley and February’s visit of fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion.

Chris Wilder and Sheffield United owner Prince Abdullah: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“I’ve got a meeting with the chief executive and Paul this afternoon - talking about targets and checking availability,” Wilder said. “The board know I should bring a couple in and then the negotiation part is above me. No manager wants it to go down to the last day and the last week. We want players to come in early and have them available at the first opportunity.”

“There’s talk. It’s a tough window,” Wilder added, acknowledging approaches have already been made to rival clubs. “There won’t be permanent deals. We have to yet again be creative, look and work very hard.

"That’s what I’ll be doing, to try and bring in players who can come in ‘over the top’ and make a real difference straight away. Because that’s what we need.”

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