Sheffield United: Blades make approach for Southend midfielder

Billy Sharp will be hoping for a recall to the starting eleven: Robin Parker/Sportimage
Billy Sharp will be hoping for a recall to the starting eleven: Robin Parker/Sportimage

Sheffield United have had a bid rejected for Southend’s Ryan Leonard, according to reports in Essex.

As The Star reported last month, Chris Wilder’s side decided to resurrect their chase for the midfielder when Paul Coutts was ruled-out for the rest of the season with a broken leg.

Jake Wright could return on Friday night: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Jake Wright could return on Friday night: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

United made numerous undisclosed offers during the summer transfer window and, even though Leonard made no secret of his desire to leave, Southend refused to sell.

Leonard, aged 25, has made 24 appearances for Phil Brown’s team this term.

Wilder, meanwhile, is undecided whether to give players the chance to make amends for their below-par display at Millwall or wield the axe ahead of this week’s home game against Bristol City.

Despite describing claims his team selection contributed to Saturday’s defeat in London as “garbage”, Wilder indicated he could contemplate recalling the likes of Jake Wright and Billy Sharp for the meeting with Lee Johnson’s side.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is facing a big decision later this week: Robin Parker/Sportimage

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is facing a big decision later this week: Robin Parker/Sportimage

“Do I make changes? We’ll have to see,” he said. “We’ll sit down and work out what we believe is the right thing to do.”

Despite scoring during United’s set-back at The Den, David Brooks could be in a vulnerable position ahead of City’s visit after Wilder admitted “I don’t like to see my players doing that, waving their arms around and what have you” in an apparent reference to the Wales international’s caution for diving.

Captain Billy Sharp (pictured) and Jake Wright will be among those hoping for recalls when fourth placed United host the team directly above them in the Championship table in three days time.