Chris Wilder says John Lundstram may not be replaced if he leaves Sheffield United in the January transfer window.
Lundstram is expected to exit Bramall Lane in the new year having failed to agree a new contract. The midfielder’s current deal expires next summer and Wilder has revealed a new one will not be signed.
With a small squad as it is, losing Lundstram mid-season would be a blow. Yet Wilder says the Blades may not even sign a replacement for the 26-year-old if he does depart.
“We might move that money elsewhere,” the United manager told Yorkshire Live.
“We have got Ethan (Ampadu), (Ollie) Norwood, (John) Fleck, (Jack) Rodwell, (Ben) Osborn, Sander (Berge) we will have a look at that from a football point of view.
“There’s still eight or nine weeks before the window opens and you never know what might happen with the players you have got. If you suffer an injury to a player you can’t afford to.
“But certainly with Fleck coming back in and Sander can play in that role, Ethan and Rodwell can play sitting, Norwood’s there, Osborn we have decent competition in that position.”
What would Lundstram money be spent on in January?
It’s not clear how much the South Yorkshire club would want for Lundstram. Certainly his valuation would have risen last term after showing some impressive form in the Premier League.
But the fact he will have entered the final six months of his current contract by then does hinder the Blades’ bargaining position.
It was thought that if Lundstram leaves, United would reignite their interest in John Swift. They had a £3.5m offer for Swift rejected in the summer, with Reading wanting more than double that.
However, as Wilder says, maybe he already has enough midfield options even without Lundstram.
What he is lacking, though, is numbers in central defence. Jack O’Connell is set to miss the entire campaign after having knee surgery.
It’s thought a left-sided centre-back therefore remains the number one target. Both Preston North End defender Ben Davies and Bournemouth’s Diego Rico remain on the wish list.