Mark Duffy appears to be edging closer to an exit from Sheffield United after not being given a squad number.
The Blades revealed their numbers for the upcoming Premier League season, but Duffy was not included.
This comes after Football Insider reported the 33-year-old had been told he was free to leave the club. Having entered the final year of his current contract at Bramall Lane, Duffy approached the hierarchy about signing a new long-term deal.
The attacking midfielder was said to be “shocked” when this was rejected and he was then told he was surplus to requirements.
Manager Chris Wilder has since revealed the details of his meeting with Duffy.
“He came to see me and talked about a new contract,” Wilder told the Sheffield Star.
“I reminded him that he signed one 18 months back and got a rise to Premier League money.
“He won’t dictate to me when he signed a new contract and neither will his agent. It’s as simple as that.
“We told him that and he wanted to pursue different options.”
Does Mark Duffy have a future at Sheffield United?
The Sheffield Star reports that Duffy could still have a future with United – if he doesn’t leave before tonight’s transfer deadline.
That is because the current squad only names 22 players. Wilder is allowed to include 25 in his final roster; which is submitted on Friday.
It means there are potentially three more places to fill and if Duffy remains at the club then he could take up one of them.
Leon Clarke and Jake Wright haven’t been given squad numbers either, despite featuring in some pre-season friendlies. They are among those transfer-listed by the Blades, according to the Daily Mail.
Yet they too could force their way back into Wilder’s squad if numbers are short. Of course, more signings could still be made before the deadline as well.