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Heckingbottom still chats with Wilder and predicts next move for former Sheffield United boss

Sheffield United caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom says he still chats with Chris Wilder.

Heckingbotom replaced Wilder as Blades boss on an interim basis last month after his exit from Bramall Lane.

Prior to that the 43-year-old was in charge of the Under-23s. He was brought to the club by Wilder after stints as manager at Barnsley, Leeds United and Hibernian.

“We’ve spoken a few times,” Heckingbottom was quoted by The Daily Mail.

“We can still keep that friendship. It’s difficult because I’ve been in his shoes and I know what that’s like. It’s difficult because I came here to work for him and we couldn’t get that relationship as we wanted because of the Covid restrictions. But moving forward nothing changes.

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“Obviously I won’t go into what we chat about, but we continue to speak and our conversations will evolve as things go on regardless of Chris’ next job, or my next job.

“Everyone knows we were friends before I came to the club and he played a big part in me coming here.”

Heckingbottom on what next for the former Sheffield United boss

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Wilder has been linked with several high profile jobs since ending his almost five-year managerial spell at United.

In the Premier League, both Crystal Palace and Newcastle United are thought to be considering the 53-year-old.

Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion are also said to be interested in Wilder if they are relegated.

Celtic are another club believed to be in the mix.

As yet, nothing has materialised in terms of Wilder’s next move. But Heckingbottom doesn’t think it will be long before his friend is back in the dugout.

“Chris will be back in management very soon, no doubt about it,” he continued.

“That’s not me giving anything away from a conversation that I’ve had with him, but he’s too good a manager, with too good a record.”

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