Sheffield United last night confirmed Mark Duffy and Chris Hussey as their first signings since Chris Wilder’s appointment as manager.
The duo, previously of Birmingham City and Bury respectively, have agreed moves to Bramall Lane after holding talks with the League One club’s heirarchy.
Wilder, who took charge when Nigel Adkins was sacked three weeks ago, is set to embark upon a major overhaul of the squad he inherited from his predecessor after releasing 10 players and declaring another seven surplus to requirements last month.
The arrival of Duffy and Hussey marks the first stage of that process with goalkeeper George Long, whose contract recently expired, scheduled to hold a further round of talks with Wilder this afternoon.
Duffy, aged 30, was named in the Professional Footballers’ Association League One Team of the Year after helping Burton Albion reach the Championship last term. The midfielder returned to St Andrews when his loan at the Pirelli Stadium expired but was not offered fresh terms by the Championship club and is set to arrive as a free agent.
Hussey, three years Duffy’s junior, is expected to command a small fee after agreeing to leave Gigg Lane. Previously of AFC Wimbledon and Coventry City, the left-back also represented Albion before heading to Lancashire and was a member of the team which beat United 3-1 in September.
Wilder, meanwhile, has confirmed neither Dean Hammond or Martyn Woolford are likely to earn reprieves after being made available for transfer during his close season cull.
“Out of that list, there might be two or three that might go,” he said.
“Whether they do deals with the club financially in terms of a pay-off or settlement, we’ll see. They aren’t part of my plans though. I’ll look at every individual situation on its merits. We were decisive early on. If they don’t go and we need to use them, then we’ll look at that. But I’d expect two or three, like I say, to go.
“It’s nothing personal with them or the lads we have let go,” Wilder added.
“They are professionals and I would expect them to act as such. I’ve got to look after the club and any footballer worth his salt wants to be playing on a Saturday afternoon and a Tuesday evening. So hopefully there will be a compromise between the two.”