Sheffield United have launched a Europe-wide search for new players as manager Nigel Adkins presses ahead with his efforts to reshape the League One club’s squad.
The policy of scouting foreign markets, which contrasts sharply the transfer strategies employed by the 50-year-old’s most recent predecessors, is being spearheaded by United’s head of recruitment and chief scout Lee Turnbull.
The former Middlesbrough, Doncaster Rovers and Chesterfield centre-forward arrived at Bramall Lane soon after Adkins’ appointment in June and, as The Star revealed earlier this season, has already undertaken several clandestine spying missions on the continent with Holland known to be a particular area of interest.
“You do your research,” Adkins said.
“Not just for the short-term but for the long-term too.
“There might be a player, for instance, who we track for an entire season.
“He might not be quite ready just yet but you earmark him, watch him and see how he develops.
“It’s all about plotting a course through different windows.”
Turnbull performed a similar role during Adkins’ spell in charge of League One rivals Scunthorpe.
“I’ve known Lee a long time,” he said.
“We’ve worked together before and shared many a long car journey and cold night watching games of football. So you get to know what you are looking for.
“There wasn’t a recruitment department as such when we joined so we’ve put one together and used the experience that we’ve got.
“It’s all about trying to improve the club as a whole from top to bottom.”
Adkins, who has included Fulham’s Dan Burn on his list of targets, indicated finances will be made available to enter the transfer market following Saturday’s draw at Walsall although players are also expected to depart as United meet their Salary Cost Management Protocol obligations.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s home fixture against Shrewsbury Town, he said: “I think our co-chairman (Jim Phipps) has made some comments on that.
“But we also want to work with and improve the players we’ve already got. That’s just as important.”
United came from behind to grab a point for the second League One game in a row at the weekend, with Jose Baxter equalising at the Banks’s Stadium.