Sheffield United: The striker who did NOT feature on Bramall Lane's wanted list
Chris Wilder did not include Macauley Bonne on the list of transfer targets he presented to Sheffield United's board of directors following the club's promotion to the Premier League.
The centre-forward, who joined Charlton Athletic from Leyton Orient earlier this month, was reportedly attracting interest from Bramall Lane after impressing at The Breyer Group Stadium last term. But The Star can confirm Wilder did not make an approach to Orient, preferring to focus on attracting more experienced options instead. Bonne, a Zimbabwe international, recently agreed a three year deal with Lee Bowyer's side.
With United preparing for their first taste of top-flight football since 2007, Wilder has prioritised strengthening his starting eleven rather than the squad as a whole ahead of August's opener against AFC Bournemouth. Brentford's Neal Maupay and Oli McBurnie, the Swansea City striker, both fit the profile United's coaching staff devised when identifying potential new signings after finishing second in the Championship. Newspapers in Ecuador have also linked Antonio Valencia, previously of Manchester United, with a switch to South Yorkshire.
Although United have yet to make a breakthrough in the market, Wilder recently explained the complexity of the deals they are trying to broker means progress was always likely to be slower than in previous seasons, when the majority of his recruitment has been completed before United reported back for training.
United begin their preparations for the visit to The Vitality Stadium when they meet Real Betis in Portugal on July 12. After returning to England, they are scheduled to face Burton Albion, Northampton Town, Chesterfield and Barnsley, with a home friendly at Bramall Lane also likely to be arranged.