Sheffield United have started contract talks with some of the squad who are set become free agents, reports the Sheffield Star.
Seven players currently on the Blades’ books are out of contract at the end of this season. There are a further four whose loans are set to expire at the same time.
Yet at Monday’s Premier League meeting, clubs were given the go-ahead to temporarily extend those deals should they wish to do so. This is ahead of plans to resume top flight matches next month.
Professional football in England has been indefinitely suspended since March 13 due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, plans are in place to play the remaining 92 fixtures behind closed doors – starting on June 12.
Who have Sheffield United begun contract talks with?
Four players due to be out of contract this summer have been approached by United to extend their stay until the end of the revised 2019/20 season.
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They are Leon Clarke, Kieron Freeman, Phil Jagielka and Jack Rodwell. They are also seeking formal clarification from Manchester United that Dean Henderson can extend his loan. Presumably a similar discussion will be had with Everton about Mo Besic.
The Blades were already confident that loan deals for Panos Retsos and Richairo Zivkovic would be extended. They were both signed in the January transfer window, with the option to make their moves permanent, from Bayer Leverkusen and Changchun Yatai respectively.
What it does mean is no such extension will be offered to three others due to be out of contract. Two of them – Mark Duffy and Ravel Morrison – are currently away from Bramall Lane on loan.
The third is Ricky Holmes, who has already made it clear he plans to retire from football this summer.