Talks over contract extensions have progressed with four Sheffield United players.
As part of ‘Project Restart’, the Premier League has permitted clubs to offer temporary extensions to those whose current deals are due to expire at the end of June.
That includes five currently in the Blades squad. They are Leon Clarke, Ricky Holmes, Phil Jagielka, Kieron Freeman and Jack Rodwell.
The Sheffield Star reports that discussions have taken a step forward with four of them over extending their stay until the end of season.
The only player not to be included is Holmes, who has already made it public he plans to retire from football this summer.
It also doesn’t mention the two currently out on loan – Mark Duffy and Ravel Morrison. However, a previous report suggested the duo would not be offered extensions.
According to Sky Sports, June 12 still remains the planned date for English top flight fixtures to resume. However, that is flexible and could be pushed back.
Who else is involved at contract talks at Sheffield United?
Along with the four permanent players United want to keep, there are also four loanees they would like to retain. Both Dean Henderson and Mo Besic are midway through season-long loan deals at Bramall Lane.
Meanwhile, Panos Retsos and Richairo Zivkovic were signed on loan with the option to buy during the January transfer window.
Talks have begun with all four of their parent clubs about extending their stay too.
Both Bayer Leverkusen and Changchun Yatai are thought to be open to extending Retsos and Zivkovic’s time in South Yorkshire. They are also willing to extend the clauses allowing the Blades to sign them permanently.
There was some concern that Manchester United might block Henderson staying beyond the expiration of his loan. That is because both they and the Blades are competing for European qualification. Yet that is no longer believed to be an issue.