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Sheffield United: Blades turn their attention to attack following the arrival of record signing John Egan

John Egan is Sheffield United's new record signing
John Egan is Sheffield United's new record signing
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Chris Wilder will turn his attention to bolstering Sheffield United's attacking options after Republic of Ireland defender John Egan became the club's record signing.

Egan, aged 25, was unveiled earlier this evening having agreed a four year contract at Bramall Lane.

His arrival means Wilder can now concentrate on the search for two new centre-forwards, with Ipswich Town's Martyn Waghorn understood to feature on the manager's wanted list.

Egan, previously of Brentford, first emerged as a target for United 18 months ago. Although the exact amount United have paid to secure his services is officially undisclosed, club officials have confirmed it exceeds the £4m they paid for James Beattie 11 seasons ago.

"As a player, it makes you feel really wanted," Egan said. "When I first heard of the interest, how much the club and the manager wanted me, I was eager to get it done.

"When I came here with Brentford last season, the place was really rocking. The fans have been incredible every time I've been here and I can't wait to walk out in front of them again."

Egan, who made one loan appearance for United earlier in his career, is expected to take part in tomorrow's friendly against Mansfield Town before Wilder's squad continues its preparations for the new season when Internazionale visit South Yorkshire next week. However, with talks aimed at triggering Waghorn's release still on-going, it remains unclear whether the former Rangers marksman will recruited in time to face the Italians. Or, given Ipswich's demands, if a deal can be completed at all.

Southampton's Sam Gallagher is another potential target but, as The Star reported last week, United's hopes of capturing Scott Hogan are receding because Aston Villa have so far refused to consider a loan.

Wilder, who attended Egan's unveiling today, said: "John has been our number one target in that position throughout the summer, it has been going on a while and we've kept it close to our chests because we've had to. I've monitored him for a number of seasons now and he is a defender who defends properly."

"We see him as a leader and he is worthy of the fee we've paid for him," Wilder added. "In my opinion, he is a better player than a couple of those who have already moved for bigger fees this summer. His Championship experience will be crucial as is his experience of being at the right end of the division."