The short-term deal Brown signed in September is scheduled to expire next month but Chris Wilder told The Star last night that a final decision has yet to be reached on whether or not the defender will be invited to stay at Bramall Lane.
“We’re talking about quite a lot of things at the moment and that’s one of them,” Wilder, the United manager, said. “Reece has come in, he’s worked hard and done well. So we’ll assess the situation and see where we go.”
Although Brown has made only five appearances since joining United on a free transfer, his presence in Wilder’s first team squad provides valuable insurance against injury and suspension. Fellow centre-half James Wilson has missed the League One club’s last 14 games with an ankle problem while Jake Wright only recently recovered from a hamstring complaint. Although strengthening his defence is not a priority during the forthcoming transfer window, Wilder could be swayed to retain Brown’s services because the 25-year-old can also operate at full-back.
“There’s plenty of things to consider, different scenarios and things like that,” Wilder said. “We’ll sit down and talk through them all because that’s the sensible thing to do.”
Brown, previously of Manchester United, Barnsley and Coventry City, was an unused substitute when United triumphed 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena six days ago. Although Wilson and Wright could both feature on the bench when Wilder’s team returns to action against Oldham Athletic on Boxing Day, an injury to Chris Hussey could once again see Brown retain his place in United’s plans.
Hussey fell awkwardly during Monday’s Professional Development League victory over Nottingham Forest and Wilder said: “Chris took a big blow to his shoulder and so he’s not trained (on Tuesday). We’ll see how he is and then go from there in terms of the next game.”
Meanwhile, United have signed centre-forward Horatio Hirst from Oxford City. The 18-year-old will initially begin working with under-18’s coach Derek Geary before being considered for under-23 duty.
Travis Binnion, United’s academy director, said: “Horatio is a promising striker who we feel has the potential to improve and progress further with hard work.”