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Why Michael Appleton won't be joining Sheffield United any time soon

Sheffield United continued to scour the market for their next manager it seems, with a list of five candidates said to have made a shortlist.

The Blades are treading carefully when it comes to appointing a successor to Chris Wilder. The departure of Wilder has left a gaping hole at the club, and Prince Abdullah and Stephen Bettis must get the next manager right.

One of the names apparently on the shortlist at Bramall Lane is current Lincoln City boss, Michael Appleton. The former Blackburn and West Brom man has done a superb job at Lincoln, guiding them to the playoffs.

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Appleton is said to have admirers in the United boardroom. He is a well respected coach within the game, and is seen as someone the Blades board would seriously consider.

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But would Appleton be interested in moving to Bramall Lane? We spoke to Gary Hutchinson from the respected Lincoln City fan site, The Stacey West, to get his thoughts on Appleton’s links with the Blades.

Michael Appleton to Sheffield United unlikely, says Hutchinson

Speaking on the subject of Appleton coming to Bramall Lane, Hutchinson says he’d be very surprised to see him leave Lincoln just now.

I’ll be honest, I can’t see Appleton leaving us this summer. He penned the new deal and if he was to leave, my money would only be on West Brom, his former employer,” he commented.

He’s been burned by jumping ship before. Blackpool to Blackburn I think. And he’s been very careful about the move back into management after leaving Oxford.”

Those comments won’t ring too well in the ears of those inside Bramall Lane. But Appleton is clearly well-respected at Lincoln, and has impressed Hutchinson both on and off the field.

“What I would say is this – he’s a great manager, coach and person. The job he has done here is nothing short of sensational, on a strict budget. And I feel he wants to stay and see it out, at least next season. I would be very, very surprised if he does move on.”

Of course, United may well offer Appleton a tempting package to jump ship and come to Sheffield.

But for now, at least it seems that way, Appleton is treading carefully and is pretty happy with his role in Lincoln.

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