Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, is ready to take a hardline stance against players who refuse to leave the club this summer.
Seven members of Bramall Lane’s first team squad, including midfielders Dean Hammond and Paul Coutts, have been made available for transfer following the 48-year-old’s appointment.
The former United defender, who guided Northampton Town to promotion last term, said: “The lads that won’t be part of the group going forward, they need to make decisions on their futures. Because I would like to think that every professional footballer worth their salt wants to be playing.”
In the past, United have found it difficult to offload players because they are the highest payers in the division. But Wilder, whose predecessor Nigel Adkins was responsible for signing Hammond from Leicester City, told co-owner Kevin McCabe he will deliver value for money after accepting the position nearly a fortnight ago.
A lifelong United supporter, he is unlikely to take kindly to those suspected of exploiting his new employers for financial gain.
“If they are part of our plans, then they got to get themselves ready for a tough pre-season,” Wilder said. “Because that’s certainly what we are going to be having.”