Karl Robinson appeared to dash McFadzean’s hopes of completing a dream move to his former club earlier this week by claiming the centre-half will not be sold to a League One rival.
But The Star can understands that negotiators acting on behalf of Bramall Lane are planning further talks regarding McFadzean’s future later this month after opening preliminary discussions soon after Chris Wilder’s appointment as manager.
Wilder, who took charge of United seven weeks ago, has identified the 29-year-old as one of his leading summer targets and, despite Robinson’s claim he would rather see McFadzean “sit in the reserves” than return to South Yorkshire, still thinks an agreement can be brokered.
But Wilder’s desire to rebuild his back four - Jay McEveley, Harrison McGahey and Terry Kennedy were all released during a cull of the squad he inherited from Nigel Adkins - means there will be no repeat of the ultimately fruitless ‘Dan Burn saga’ which overshadowed much of his predecessor’s reign.
Burn, who recently joined Wigan Athletic from Fulham, was the only name Adkins asked United’s hierarchy to pursue as he sought to strengthen a rearguard which kept 15 clean sheets in league competition last term before Alex Baptiste eventually arrived on loan. Wilder, by contrast, has identified a series of potential options.
“We’ve spoken with several people and told them of our plans,” Wilder said. “I think that’s important so everyone knows what we are all about.”
“We’re being sensible about things,” Wilder added. “There are lots of options we are looking at. But all of them have the right traits.”
McFadzean, aged 29, progressed through United’s youth system before arriving at stadium:mk following spells with Alfreton and Crawley Town. He was a member of the Dons side which gained promotion to the Championship two seasons ago but was unable to prevent them being relegated last season.