Sheffield United are in talks with Billy Sharp over a new contract, reports the Sheffield Star.

Sharp has already triggered a 12-month extension to his current deal having played the required game time.

The Blades captain was entitled to another year at the club if he played 23 Championship matches this season. Sharp reached that milestone on December 29, scoring twice as United beat Blackburn Rovers 3-0.

However, manager Chris Wilder is keen to keep the 32-year-old at Bramall Lane beyond 2020. It is believed that discussions have already taken place between the club and Sharp’s representative.

He would then be with United until at least 2021, when he will be 35.

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Why does Sharp deserve a new contract?

Sharp turns 33 next month, but Wilder and his staff still think the striker has much to offer. On the pitch the skipper has scored 17 goals in all competitions and 16 in the Championship. Only Aston Villa’s Tammy Abraham has more in England’s second tier.

That brace against Blackburn ensured Sharp became the joint highest scorer in English league football this century with 219 strikes. Just three days later he broke the record when netting against Wigan Athletic.

Over two spells at the Blades, Sharp has 95 goals in 228 appearances. Yet it is not just the forward’s influence on the pitch that makes him such a valuable asset.

“He’s been fantastic,” Wilder said about Sharp earlier this month. “He’s loyal, he’s committed to the football club and it goes without saying he’s a hugely important figure in the dressing room.”

When Gary Madine signed on loan from Cardiff City, he admitted that Sharp played a big part in the move. Madine had previously been filmed by a Sheffield Wednesday fan insulting the United captain, but that did not stop him welcoming the former Owl to the club.

With a promotion push on the agenda this season, Wilder needs leaders and Sharp – a boyhood fans of the Blades and academy graduate – is loved and respected by everyone at Bramall Lane.

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