Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has revealed why Mark Duffy could leave the club this summer.
Football Insider were the first to report Duffy had been told he was free to exit Bramall Lane. This was after the Blades refused to negotiate a new contract with the midfielder.
Duffy has entered the final year of his current deal and is said to be “shocked” at not being offered a fresh one. The 33-year-old had hoped to commit his long-term future to the South Yorkshire side.
Wilder has now confirmed that the rumours are true. It’s also why Duffy was not involved in recent pre-season friendlies against Northampton Town and Chesterfield.
“He came to see my on Thursday, I think it was, and talked about a new contract,” the 51-year-old told the Sheffield Star. “I reminded him that he signed one 18 months back and got a rise to Premier League money.
“He won’t dictate to me when he signed a new contract and neither will his agent. It’s as simple as that.
“We told him that and he wanted to pursue different options. He wanted to do that and I gave him the weekend off to do that.”
When asked if Duffy would be welcomed back into the squad, Wilder continued: “That’s a decision I will make. He clearly felt his future was elsewhere.”
Will Mark Duffy leave?
It seems there has been a serious breakdown in the relationship between Duffy and Wilder. Which is a shame because the attacking midfielder was such an important part of the promotion push last season.
Since joining from Birmingham City in 2016 as one of Wilder’s first signings, Duffy has been a key player. To date he has made 121 appearances for the Blades, helping them to two promotions.
Having worked his way up from non-league, to now play in the Premier League seemed the perfect conclusion to Duffy’s story.
Now that may never happen, but Wilder can’t afford to be sentimental in his preparations. Duffy will turn 34 in October and has no top flight experience in English football.
Luke Freeman, Ravel Morrison and Callum Robinson have all been signed this summer as potential competition in his number ten position.
Wilder’s priority is keeping United up without jeopardising their finances; whether that is with or without Duffy.