Contract talks with Sheffield United midfielder John Lundstram may have hit yet another obstacle.
Manager Chris Wilder has revealed that he doesn’t expect a player to re-sign with the club because his agent is demanding too much money.
There is no confirmation this is Lundstram. Several of the Blades squad are known to be in talks about a new deal. However, the midfielder is the only one for whom there are reported to be issues.
In February, Wilder was said to have grown frustrated with how long it was taking for Lundstram to put pen to paper.
The 26-year-old’s current deal expires at the end of June – although there is a 12-month extension written into it that United plan to activate.
Beyond that, though, it seems unclear whether Lundstram will remain at Bramall Lane.
The Everton academy product has been one of the biggest surprise stories of the Premier League season so far. Hardly used during the Blades’ promotion campaign from the Championship in 2018/19, a slight tweak in tactics by Wilder saw Lundstram start the opening day draw at Bournemouth.
Since then he has played 27 of their 28 league games, scoring four goals and providing three assists.
Lundstram’s role has been affected by the January arrival of club record signing Sander Berge. Berge went straight into the starting XI at Crystal Palace and has largely kept the former England Under-20 international out of the team since.
After coming off the bench to score the winner against Bournemouth, Lundstram appeared to show his frustration at this with his celebration.
Could Lundstram end up the same way as Duffy at Sheffield United?
Wilder clearly says that an agent’s demands on behalf of their player is behind this latest contract issue. It isn’t the first time this has happened at the Blades in recent times.
Following their promotion to the top flight in 2019, Wilder said Mark Duffy came to see him. Duffy and his representatives asked for more money. Wilder said he would not be dictated to.
As a result, despite having played a key role for the club since his arrival in 2016, Duffy was moved on. First the 34-year-old went on loan to Stoke City, but it didn’t work out and the deal was ended early.
Duffy is currently with ADO Den Haag in the Netherlands and is almost certain to leave United permanently this summer when his contract expires.
The attacking midfielder’s career has taken a downwards turn in the past 12 months.
According to Transfermarkt, Duffy is represented by the agency Wasserman. And which other Blade do the US-based firm have on their books? That’s right, Lundstram.
Duffy is an adult, of course, and therefore his agent can’t be blamed entirely for his United exit. Yet, their job is also to represent their client and what is best for their career.
In the case of Duffy, that certainly didn’t happen. If Lundstram isn’t careful, he could end up following the same path.