Sheffield United will be allowed to offer short extensions to those players out of contract on June 30, reports ESPN.
That is part of the recommendations from FIFA on how to conclude the 2019/20 season following the coronavirus pandemic.
English football has been indefinitely suspended since March 13 due to the outbreak. However, the priority is to finish the campaign when it is safe to do so.
The Premier League still has nine rounds of fixtures to play, while some clubs – including the Blades – have ten matches remaining.
The latest proposal in England is to play games behind closed doors from June 6 onward. These would be played at quarantine bases either at Wembley Stadium or St George’s Park.
If that schedule extended beyond June 30 then it would affect several United players.
Who is out of contract at Sheffield United?
As things stand there are eight of the squad whose current deals are due to expire at the end of June. While extensions can be offered, players are under no legal obligation to sign them and can still leave on June 30 should they choose to do so.
For the Blades, many of those set to become free agents are unlikely to earn new contracts in any case. They include Mark Duffy and Ravel Morrison, who are both currently out on loan, as well as forgotten man Ricky Holmes.
Leon Clarke is another, whom the club tried to move on during the January transfer window. Then there are those who could potentially be in line for new deals, including Kieron Freeman, Phil Jagielka and Jack Rodwell.
Finally, there is John Lundstram. A key player this term, Lundstram’s current contract expires this summer. However, manager Chris Wilder has already revealed there is the option to extend that by a further year written into it, which the club plan to activate.
Lundstram will not be leaving Bramall Lane any time soon.
Then there are four loanees. FIFA have also recommended that loans be extended until the new end date for the season.
That shouldn’t be an issue when it comes to temporarily extending the stay of Dean Henderson and Mo Besic. Meanwhile, United have the option to make loan deals for both Panos Retsos and Richairo Zivkovic permanent. Apparently, those will also be extended.