Sheffield United manager, Chris Wilder, has criticised the Match Of The Day “facts” about captain Billy Sharp.
Sharp was strongly linked with an exit from Bramall Lane during the January transfer window and several clubs made enquiries. Celtic, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest were among those thought to be interested.
Wilder was open about his stance on the future of Sharp. The Blades boss said that if the striker decided to leave, then he would help to make that happen.
As it was, Sharp decided to stay and the window came and went with the 34-year-old remaining in South Yorkshire.
Yet speculation was rife – even on the BBC’s Match Of The Day. Presenter Gabby Logan said Sharp had been told he could leave the club and that when he was substituted during the Premier League defeat to Manchester City, “it looked like he was saying goodbye”.
Danny Murphy, who was a pundit on the programme, then urged Leeds to go and sign the forward.
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What Wilder thought about Match Of The Day comments
Wilder has since responded to the rumours being peddled by Logan and Murphy.
“I was disappointed with a situation when people were talking about me allowing Billy to go out,” the 52-year-old told the Yorkshire Post. “Their ‘facts’ weren’t right.
“I said if Billy knocked on my door and said he wanted to play elsewhere then I’d do what I could to facilitate that. He hadn’t. So that was the end of the story.”
Sharp is under contract until the end of next season. However, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the skipper were to leave this summer.
Sharp has admittedly started the Blades’ last three matches in all competitions – including two in the Premier League. Yet in general he has been a squad player, with only two other inclusions in a starting XI in 2019/20.
The club have since signed Richairo Zivkovic on loan from Changchun Yatai until the end of the campaign with an option to buy. That takes Wilder’s tally of first team attackers to six; including Callum Robinson, who is currently on loan at West Bromwich Albion.