Mark Duffy rejected Barnsley in favour of a move to Sheffield United.
Chris Wilder, who captured the former Birmingham City midfielder on a pre-contract agreement earlier this week, revealed several Championship clubs had been chasing Duffy’s signature before his arrival at Bramall Lane.
The Star understands that United’s South Yorkshire rivals were among those interested in acquiring the 30-year-old’s services after winning the League One play-off final last weekend.
But Duffy, who is joined at United by defender Chris Hussey, rebutted their advances and joined Wilder’s team instead. A statement of intent which has impressed his new club’s manager.
“He wants to come here for the right reasons, not because there’s a pound note in front of things,” Wilder said. “He’s turned down good offers to come here, and that’s not me spinning things.
“He’s played in the Championship too with Birmingham and Scunthorpe so, if we do get up, we think he can play at the higher level too.”
Duffy, a driving force behind Burton Albion’s march to promotion last term, was released by City when his loan at the Pirelli Stadium expired. Hussey, aged 27, commanded a nominal fee after leaving Bury where manager David Flitcroft recently described him as the division’s “best left-back”.
“Regardless of Mark’s size, he’s brave and he wants to get on the ball,” Wilder said. “He was comfortably one of the best players in this division last year. He can handle it here too. We’ve walked him out on the pitch and you can sense he’s someone who is going to embrace it.”
“Mark had a great year and fits in with way we want to play,” Wilder added. “He’s energetic and was pivotal in Burton’s achievements last season. He’s got good movement and good ability. Works both ways. Most of all, he wants to come here.”