Sheffield United: George Long wants time to talk over new deal

Sheffield United goalkeeper George Long
Sheffield United goalkeeper George Long

George Long and his representative have asked Sheffield United for more time to discuss the club’s contract offer.

Manager Chris Wilder expected to learn whether the former England youth international would sign the agreement last night.

But The Star understands Long’s advisor confirmed they had yet to reach a decision before United, who are poised to appoint a new chief scout, launched their latest home strip at Robin Hood Airport yesterday.

Although Wilder has refused to divulge any details of his discussions with the 22-year-old, he is believed to be pressing for an answer by the end of the week.

Long, who emerged as United’s first choice goalkeeper under Wilder’s predecessor Nigel Adkins, has made no secret of the fact he wants to remain at Bramall Lane. But Adkins’ departure, combined with the club’s desire to reshape its wage structure, has complicated the negotiation process.

Wilder stated earlier this month that “the ball is in George’s court” and is refusing to revise what he described as a “competitive contract in line with our pay structure.”

Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder

“I am not going to stick a gun to his head, if he declines it,” Wilder continued. “If he takes it, then great.”

United, meanwhile, have drawn-up a shortlist of names to fill the vacancy created when Lee Turnbull, Adkins’ head of recruitment, departed South Yorkshire last month. Paul Mitchell, who was responsible for identifying Sam Clucas and Sam Morsy during his spell at Chesterfield, is known to boast admirers among United’s hierarchy although other potential candidates were also being considered last weekend. Mitchell, who also served as Chesterfield’s head of player recruitment and development, left the Proact Stadium in April.