Alan Biggs: How Chris Wilder’s striking the right balance with his Sheffield United transfer targets

Chris Wilder (right) has built up a strong sense of team spirit within his Sheffield United side
Chris Wilder (right) has built up a strong sense of team spirit within his Sheffield United side

The trend is for football managers to become increasingly less involved in transfers.

It comes from abroad and is now commonplace at the top two levels and sometimes below.

Basically, it goes like this. Manager produces, or contributes to, a list of targets. Chief executive or chairman goes off to negotiate deals with clubs, players and agents.

Manager is then presented with signed players.

Actually, it’s not such a bad way of doing things.

Managers are freed from the finances and can concentrate on the already intensive job of knocking a team into shape.

Providing the players acquired are ones they want,

I can’t see too much of a problem.

But some managers still prefer to be hands on and Chris Wilder, embraced with a new deal at Sheffield United, is unmistakably one of those.

That United allow him to stay close to all the twists and turns is another positive.

It’s not just about signing the right players.

It’s more about the blend and how the incoming group fits into the existing squad to turn it back into the singular ...of one group.

Clearly Wilder has a very firm handle on the pounds, shillings and pence.

And, as he’s shown, he’s more than prepared to veto deals on that basis if the figures don’t add up.

One of his first acts last summer was to slash a projected lavish contract offer to the club’s main goalkeeper of the time, George Long.

There was insufficient interest from other clubs to justify it and Long, albeit still with undoubted potential, saw Wilder recruit a new number one in Simon Moore, who has fully justified that manoeuvre.

The same applies in this summer window.

While it’s possible to land anyone if you go high enough, Wilder simply won’t countenance having two players of similar quality on incomparable wages.

Ultimately, it’s the manager who has to deal with the problems that can cause.

There are few secrets in football about who is being paid what.

Disparity can cause friction and, in United’s case, ruin the camaraderie that has already brought them so far.

Which is not to say Wilder won’t at some point countenance bringing in a player earning considerably more than those currently on the books.

It’s just that this player has to be seen to be worth it to be respected, rather than resented.

Phil Jagielka (not attainable right now), for instance.

And what about the manager earning less than some of his players, as has probably been the case at Bramall Lane?

Couldn’t be right for a club coming out of the third tier, could it?

United confronted the realities amid genuine interest from Sunderland and others, with a richly deserved reward in place as this went to press .

Wilder was never likely to leave and money is not his god.

But there is a market place for managers and loyalty should never be taken for granted.

Sorted.