The future of Chris Wilder as Sheffield United manager remains uncertain.
Wilder is approaching five years in charge at Bramall Lane – during which time he has mostly enjoyed great success.
In his first four years as Blades boss, his team were promoted twice and finished ninth in their first Premier League season in 12 years. It’s their highest position since 1992.
Unfortunately for Wilder and his side, they have been unable to maintain the upward trajectory this term. In fact, 2020/21 has seen a major nosedive from United.
They are currently bottom of the table with just 14 points from 28 games. Wilder’s men are 12 points from safety and look certain to be heading back to the Championship.
It would be the first relegation in the 53-year-old’s two decades as a manager.
Yet while there are clearly problems on the pitch, tension is starting to build off it as well.
But apparently he will remain as Blades boss next season – if his three wishes are met.
What will keep Wilder as Sheffield United manager?
That way he believes the Blades can make a serious push to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Wilder said this publicly, namechecking Rhian Brewster, Sander Berge, Aaron Ramsdale and Oli McBurnie while doing so.
Both Berge and Ramsdale have been linked with exits from Bramall Lane already this summer. The latter seems likely to stay, but there is less certainly about the former.
However, Wilder has apparently been given assurances that while Berge could be sold, there won’t be a fire sale.
The second of Wilder’s wishes is to be backed in the transfer market. This didn’t happen in the January window as no new players came through the door.
It led to Wilder seemingly hitting out at the board again, in response to owner Prince Abdullah appearing to criticise his previous January business.
He clearly wants assurances the same won’t happen this summer.
Finally, Wilder wants investment in the training ground at Shirecliffe. A new complex is being built, but has already missed its January deadline.
That was the original date put forward for completion, but that has been delayed because of the pandemic.
Wilder says the delay has hindered his players as he once again criticised the United hierarchy in public.
Clearly several pieces need to fall into place if the management team at Bramall Lane is to stay put.