Sheffield United: Blades target fears for future

Phil Parkinson and Nigel Clough watch last season's match between Bradford City and Sheffield United

Phil Parkinson and Nigel Clough watch last season's match between Bradford City and Sheffield United

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Sources close to Bradford City last night claimed uncertainty surrounding the club’s ownership has prompted Phil Parkinson to consider the possibility of joining League One rivals Sheffield United, writes James Shield.

Parkinson was the subject of an unsuccessful approach by representatives working on behalf of Bramall Lane earlier this week as the search for Nigel Clough’s successor gathered pace.

Gianni Paladini sits with Fabio Capello during a match at Loftus Road

Gianni Paladini sits with Fabio Capello during a match at Loftus Road

City, who rejected United’s request for permission to meet the 47-year-old, believe Parkinson’s refusal to emphatically quash talk of a move stems from Gianni Paladini’s attempt to purchase the club from co-chairman Julian Rhodes and Mark Lawn.

Although the ‘period of exclusivity’ granted to the Neapolitan businessman effectively expired yesterday, senior figures at Valley Parade believe Parkinson could be tempted to negotiate an extended contract if Paladini’s takeover fails or he receives cast-iron assurances about his position.

“It’s true we’ve been contacted by Sheffield United,” he said. “They want to speak to Phil, but we’ve turned their request down. We’ve made it perfectly clear that we want Phil to stay.”

United have yet to respond to Lawn’s statement, issued on Thursday, that City blocked their bid to arrange face-to-face talks with Parkinson.

Twitter: @JamesShield1

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