Wilder hints at new deals for Sheffield United stars

Sheffield United
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder says the club will look to reward star performers with new deals after an incredible seven months in the top-flight.

After earning a surprise promotion from the Championship, just two seasons after coming up from League One, Wilder has overseen a remarkable 26 games with Sheffield United.

The Blades are well in the mix for a European berth, potentially even Champions League depending on what happens with Manchester City’s ban, as they sit sixth.

Despite boasting a squad of players without a great deal of Premier League experience, they have excelled in the top-flight and are just two points shy of fourth-placed Chelsea.

Avoiding relegation was understandably their priority before a ball was kicked in 2019-20 but that concern is now a distant memory.

Sheffield United confirmed earlier in the season that they intended to reward John Fleck, John Lundstram, John Egan and Enda Stevens, however, they were reluctant to get involved in negotiations too early.

With their Premier League status secure and the January transfer window done and dusted, Wilder feels the time is right to ensure their top performers are tied down for the future.

Wilder said: “Now we’ve got an unbelievably hectic January week out of the way – it’s amazing how it all gets crammed into the last three or four days – all our focus is on the training ground, academy and rewarding the players for their performances in the first part of the first Premier League campaign.”

Lundstram, who has netted four times in the league this season, is set to be out of contract in the summer and the South Yorkshire side are set to activate a clause which extends his stay by a further 12 months.

Fleck is contracted to the Blades until the summer of 2021, while Egan and Stevens’ negotiations are a little less pressing with their deals currently running until 2022.

Nonetheless, Sheffield United want to get the quartet committed to fresh deals as quickly as possible.