Given his love for the club and success at Bramall Lane last term, the odds on Chris Wilder leaving Sheffield United this summer were already pretty slim.
But, following a positive round of talks with the 49-year-old and his representative, the League One champions are preparing to announce their manager, barring any unforeseen changes in circumstance, has reaffirmed his commitment by signing a new, improved deal.
The contract, which The Star understands was agreed in principle earlier this month, is believed to run beyond the terms of the arrangement Wilder negotiated after taking charge 13 months ago. It also, as is common practice in football, contains a pay-rise and a number of performance-related incentives; including a bonus should he eventually guide United into the Premier League.
Although similar clauses were inserted into Wilder’s existing contract, United’s hierarchy, including co-owners Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, were determined to reward him for delivering promotion at the first time of asking. Crucially, given reports Sunderland have identified Wilder as a potential replacement for David Moyes, it also protects their investment in his services. Although the deal has yet to be officially ratified, the consensus is that an official announcement will be made shortly.