Sheffield United beat at least two other Championship clubs to the signing of Gary Madine.

The Sheffield Star reports that Derby County were interested in Madine, while Millwall also made an approach. It’s understood that officials at Cardiff were approached by another side pushing for a playoff place as well.

However, Madine made it clear that the Blades were his preferred option. Bluebirds manager Neil Warnock has since confirmed this.

This impressed United boss Chris Wilder, who also had long discussions with Warnock about the striker before making a bid.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Madine to Blades controversy

As a former Sheffield Wednesday player the decision to sign Madine was always going to be seen as controversial at Bramall Lane.

When at Bolton Wanderers, the 28-year-old was filmed by an Owls fan in a video that went viral. In it Madine was recorded insulting Blades captain Billy Sharp.

Not only that, but Madine also has past criminal convictions and has been to prison.

However, Sharp was one of those who backed the decision to sign the forward. Clearly Madine has made a very good impression on senior figures at United.

And now Wilder has also explained his decision.

“Let’s not beat about the bush, I know the signing might split or divide opinion because of the past, and I understand that,” the 51-year-old told the Sheffield Star.

“The game is one of opinions and in this age of social media and whatever, it has created much debate.

“But I’d like to think I’ve gained the support and trust of the supporters with my background, and my knowledge of the club and the supporters and the league, what’s available and what we need to go forward.

“I’ve made the decision, and it’s my decision. I understand it might not be backed fully but people must look at the bigger picture with what we’re trying to achieve, and Gary helps that.”

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