Sheffield United: Charlton open a new front in the battle for Ricky Holmes

Charlton Athletic manager Karl Robinson wants to keep Ricky Holmes

Charlton Athletic manager Karl Robinson wants to keep Ricky Holmes

Charlton Athletic will offer Ricky Holmes a new contract as they battle to keep the forward out of Sheffield United’s clutches.

Sources at The Valley last night reported that Karl Robinson, the Londoners’ manager, plans to meet with Holmes and his representative next week amid reports the 29-year-old is keen on discussing a switch to Bramall Lane.

Ricky Holmes scored against Sheffield United last season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Ricky Holmes scored against Sheffield United last season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

But, in a move which appears to contract his claim that Holmes is not for sale at any price, Robinson (pictured) is understood to be exploring the possibility of improving the player’s terms and conditions to fend-off United’s interest.

As The Star revealed last month, Wilder submitted an undisclosed offer for Charlton’s reigning player of the year after guiding United to the League One title and, having previously worked with Holmes at Northampton Town, is confident the lure of Championship football will prove impossible for him to resist.

“I know Holmsey really well,” Wilder said after United’s victory over Charlton in March. “He gives it his all. He turns up every game.”

Despite insisting he would “pull the plug” on any deal which took too long to complete, Wilder, who has already added Ched Evans, Enda Stevens and Nathan Thomas to his squad, shows no sign of ending his interest in Holmes. Southend midfielder Ryan Leonard remains on United’s radar although Ryan Bennett, another potential target, opted to join Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Ricky Holmes has a good relationship with Chris Wilder: Jamie Tyerman/Sportimage

Ricky Holmes has a good relationship with Chris Wilder: Jamie Tyerman/Sportimage

“We’re looking at people,” Wilder, speaking before Bennett was unveiled at Molineux, said. “But only those who really want to come.”