Chris Wilder has insisted it would be “inappropriate” to discuss his recruitment plans, including Ched Evans’ imminent return to Bramall Lane, ahead of this weekend’s game against the former Wales international’s club Chesterfield.
Over 30,000 people are expected to witness Sheffield United being presented with the League One trophy on Sunday after winning the title with three matches to spare.
Although Wilder confirmed his plans for the summer transfer window are already in place, he warned nothing should be allowed to distract from the present squad’s achievement; including talk about potential targets.
“As I’ve said all along, the approach is unless they’ve got a red and white shirt on, we won’t discuss individual signings,” Wilder told the media this morning. “Obviously there’s a recruitment process going on. We understand we are working with a budget and that there are players out there.
“But the same goes for the ‘out’s’ too. Obviously, some people are going to be disappointed because they’ve had a massive part in what we’ve done. I don’t think it would be appropriate to talk about ‘in’s and ‘out’s’ with the weekend we’ve got coming up.”
Evans, who made over 100 appearances for United after arriving from Manchester City in 2009, is poised to become one of United’s first new additions ahead of the 2017/18 Championship campaign. The 28-year-old served two-and-a-half years in prison after being found guilty of rape in 2012 before, when the Court of Appeal quashed that conviction, clearing his name at a retrial. Barring any unforeseen complications, Evans will leave the Proact Stadium and rejoin United shortly.
Wilder, whose team will finish the season on 100 points if they beat Chesterfield, has a near full strength squad to choose from for the meeting with Gary Caldwell’s side. Ethan Ebanks-Landell could miss out after straining a hamstring during the warm-up before last weekend’s win over MK Dons but Jake Wright (illness) and James Hanson (calf) have both been declared fit.
“They’re all okay apart from maybe Ethan with his hamstring,” Wilder said. “James’ calf strain has cleared-up and obviously Caolan (Lavery) is out. But, apart from that, everybody is available and wants to be a part of it. Jake is okay to play after being ill.”