Sheffield United: Blades step-up their hunt for defender

Darragh Lenihan (right) is wanted by Sheffield United
Darragh Lenihan (right) is wanted by Sheffield United

Sheffield United are continuing their pursuit of Blackburn Rovers centre-half Darragh Lenihan.

The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international has been the subject of three bids from Bramall Lane during this summer’s transfer window after impressing with his performances at Ewood Park last term.

Although United saw an improved offer for Lenihan rejected last night, The Star understands the Championship club’s hierarchy remain hopeful the 23-year-old can be lured to South Yorkshire before the transfer window closes in 29 days time.

Despite signing Richard Stearman and Enda Stevens since leading United to the League One title, Wilder still wants to bolster his defensive options after admitting his squad is set to enter a “whole new environment” when they return to competitive action against Brentford this weekend.

“There’s still a few bits and pieces we’d like to do,” he said. “We’re pleased with the business we’ve done so far but I won’t talk about individual players until they walk through the door.”

United remain interested in Southend’s Ryan Leonard, who is also being monitored by Millwall and Bolton Wanderers, despite unveiling fellow midfielder John Lundstram before the recent friendly with Eastleigh.

Wilder’s employers also believe Burton Albion will make a further approach for John Brayford before the deadline for new signings. Nigel Clough, the Albion manager, has insisted he is now “looking elsewhere” after failing to reach an agreement for the full-back who spent much of last season on loan at the Pirelli Stadium.

Rovers are believed to value Lenihan at over £1m but concede he could be tempted by a move away following their relegation to League One. Reports emerged from Lancashire yesterday that “small scale” redundancies are being sought among support staff following Rovers’ demotion.

“Following recent reviews, specific areas of the club have been identified for potential restructures which are currently taking place,” a Rovers spokesperson confirmed.