Chris Wilder has sent a warning to those Sheffield United players out of contract on June 30.
There are eight in the first team whose deals are due to expire at the end of June. There are also four loanees who are set to return to their parent clubs at the same time.
Among the eight are two currently away from Bramall Lane on loan – Mark Duffy and Ravel Morrison. It also includes John Lundstram, who has a one-year extension written into his contract. Wilder has previously said the Blades plan to activate this.
The other five are Leon Clarke, Ricky Holmes, Phil Jagielka, Kieron Freeman and Jack Rodwell.
Clarke and Holmes are unlikely to earn new deals in any case. The latter hasn’t played for the club since 2018 and has spent time back on loan in League One. Meanwhile, Clarke was expected to leave during the January transfer window – although a move never materialised.
Mo Besic and Dean Henderson are on season long loans from Everton and Manchester United respectively. Panos Retsos and Richairo Zivkovic arrived on loan in January, although the Blades have the option to make both deals permanent if they wish.
Wilder send warning shot to out of contract players
With the Premier League indefinitely suspended since March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is a distinct possibility it won’t be concluded by June 30.
Therefore there is an issue surrounding those players set to be out of contract. Fifa have recommended that both those due to become free agents and loanees are offered temporary extensions until the season is finished.
However, players would be under no legal obligation to sign them and could still leave at the end of June – even if the campaign was still being played.
Yet Wilder has sent a warning to anyone at Bramall Lane planning to do that.
“I hear about players at other clubs that might walk away,” the Blades boss told the Yorkshire Post. “Let them walk away. If they don’t want to be part of the football club, see you later, bye, bye, we’ll get on with what we’ve got to get on with.
“If I spoke to Phil Jagielka in 20 minutes’ time and said; ‘Listen, Jags, we’re going to extend your contract by a month, it’s up to you,’ I know 100 per cent what his decision would be. That’s the whole point of having good people at clubs.”