Sheffield United plan to press ahead with their attempt to sign Charlton Athletic’s Ricky Holmes, despite Chris Wilder’s claim he does not want the saga to overshadow the club’s preparations for the new Championship campaign.
Wilder revealed he has set himself a deadline to conclude the deal when questioned on the subject earlier this week; insisting United will begin pursuing other targets in the event it is not met.
Although that time limit reportedly expires this weekend, The Star understands representatives acting on behalf of Bramall Lane have discussed the possibility of tabling a third bid for Holmes if the 30-year-old fails to agree a new contract at The Valley.
Karl Robinson, Wilder’s counterpart in the capital, last night insisted talks with Charlton’s reigning player of the season were progressing well before denying Holmes has asked to leave.
“We’ve sat down and had a conversation,” Robinson said. “His agent and the club are talking.
“We’ve had two solid bids which we have rejected. Every player at every level – top to bottom – has a price where it becomes a little bit silly. But we’re saying we don’t want to sell him.”
Despite those comments, United believe Holmes is keen to explore the possibility of joining Wilder’s squad following its League One title triumph last term. The two men worked together at Northampton Town, where Wilder also won promotion before being unveiled as Nigel Adkins’ successor 13 months ago.
Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Ryan Leonard, the Southend captain, are also being monitored by United who have signed Ched Evans, Enda Stevens, Nathan Thomas and George Baldock since returning to the second tier.
“Ideally, we don’t want things to drag on,” Wilder said. “Everyone involved always wants to get these things sorted-out as quickly as possible. That’s what we’ll be trying to do.”