Ched Evans is attracting enough interest to suggest he will shortly follow Darius Henderson out of Bramall Lane - and leave Danny Wilson with a massive hole to fill.
Sheffield United’s manager may not be able to bring in much-needed strike reinforcements until his other top earning forward leaves the club.
Wilson reveals today that he has fielded several enquiries about £3m record signing Evans - with Leicester, Middlesbrough, Norwich and Ipswich all believed to be interested.
“We’ve had a few calls about Ched,” he said. “Like Darius, he’s a player who needs to resurrect his career and get it back on track. And you can’t blame the lad for wanting to do that.”
Evans will be on similar terms to Henderson at close to £1m a year, making it a priority to offload his wages rather than reclaim the sort of fee that is now unrealistic.
And even shifting the Henderson commitment will not make a significant difference to Wilson’s budget on its own.
“It’s made it a bit easier and has helped the club - but you can’t say everything is okay now,” he said.
Wilson concedes he is “in limbo” in terms of transfer movement and expects things to remain that way for a fortnight, meaning that the new season will be close by the time the jigsaw starts falling into place.
An Evans exit sooner rather than later would help that process, though not resolve the pressing need to replace quality players in a key area.
Like for like is impractical for a club in the third tier. As Wilson puts it: “There’s no doubt Darius would have got a lot of goals in this league. You have to look at it from the player’s perspective and you would always find it difficult to keep someone of his calibre.”
With Jordan Slew’s contract talks proving protracted, he admits: “Our striking options have to be addressed. We didn’t score enough goals last season. The sooner we can settle Jordan’s future the better. For everybody’s sake, that needs to be before the season and I’m sure we’re very close.”
Meanwhile, new defender Jean-Francois Lecsinel is determined to help his former Swindon boss Wilson give the Blades an image makeover by helping the team build from the back.
“I like to get the ball down and play,” said Lescinel who spent five years in the academy of Paris St Germain as a teenage midfielder.
“You get more pleasure from playing football. The manager here likes to see players pass and move.”
Lescinel, the only arrival along with Danny Philliskirk, can play left back but has a preference for central defence.