Sheffield United are targeting three specific positions for new signings during the January transfer window.
According to the Sheffield Star, manager Chris Wilder has identified the areas in defence and midfield he wants to improve this month.
The first is right wing-back, where Kieron Freeman currently provides the only competition to first choice George Baldock. Baldock has been excellent this season, but clearly Freeman is not viewed as a Premier League player.
Which is perhaps why the 27-year-old will be allowed to depart Bramall Lane during this window.
Staying in defence, Wilder also wants cover for the centre-backs that flank John Egan in his three-man defence. Egan is the anchor and Phil Jagielka provides excellent backup.
Richard Stearman is another current option at the club – although he has been linked with a move to Huddersfield Town.
Yet it is Chris Basham and Jack O’Connell, who play in the overlapping roles, who are lacking support. Jack Rodwell has arrived as a free agent and played in Basham’s position during the 2-1 FA Cup win over AFC Fylde.
Kean Bryan is also at the club, although he too has been linked with a move away in January.
What other positions are Sheffield United targeting?
The other role that Wilder is keen to fill is that of a box-to-box midfielder. In the middle, Oliver Norwood is the deeplying playmaker, with John Lundstram and John Fleck providing the runs forward either side of him.
Luke Freeman, Ben Osborn and Rodwell offer alternatives, but Wilder wants to add more of a box-to-box player. Both Rangers’ Glen Kamara and Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United are being considered.
Finally, Wilder, assistant Alan Knill and head of recruitment Paul Mitchell have one eye on the goalkeeper position. This won’t be an issue until the summer when Dean Henderson’s loan from Manchester United expires.
The ideal solution is Henderson is signed on a permanent deal – which the 22-year-old is open to. However, he is also ambitious and wants to break through at Old Trafford. Meanwhile, Henderson’s growing reputation means his value is constantly rising.