Sheffield United: Nothing will be left to chance

Karl Robinson, the MK Dons manager, features on Sheffield United's short-list of names to fill the managerial vacancy at Bramall Lane.

Karl Robinson, the MK Dons manager, features on Sheffield United's short-list of names to fill the managerial vacancy at Bramall Lane.

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Sheffield United could hold a second round of interviews with candidates hoping to become the League One club’s next manager later this month, The Star understands.

MK Dons’ Karl Robinson, Stuart McCall of Motherwell and Gareth Southgate are among the leading contenders for the role while Chris Morgan, who took charge on an interim basis towards the end of last season, has publicly expressed his desire to succeed Danny Wilson at the helm.

United are expected to ask for permission to speak with all of those names presently in employment within the next 72 hours. But, even if their requests are granted, Bramall Lane’s hierarchy have not ruled-out the possibility of holding further talks with short-listed applicants before a final decision is reached.

Chief executive Julian Winter, director Scott McCabe and chairman David Green all feature on the selection panel while opinions are being sought from independent figures within the game.

Meetings have so far been held at a top secret location rather than United’s stadium or training complex.

Although United are prepared to pay compensation to secure their preferred choice, the sum involved could prove prohibitive given Winter’s insistence that they must become a sustainable business rather than reliant upon support from owner Kevin McCabe and his family.

Robinson is on a rolling contract at stadium:mk while McCall recently signed a new deal at Fir Park.

Although the former Scotland and United midfielder attempted to distance himself from the United vacancy following last weekend’s defeat by St Johnstone, he pointedly refused to rule-out the possibility of a return to South Yorkshire.

With their leading goalscorer Michael Higdon set to become a free agent, Motherwell will be keen for the uncertainty surrounding McCall’s future not to overshadow preparations for next term’s Europa League qualifying campaign.

Robinson confirmed yesterday that he will discuss the situation with his agent shortly after this newspaper first revealed United’s interest in holding exploratory talks with the 32-year-old nearly a fortnight ago.

Wilson parted company with Bramall Lane following a goalless draw with Crawley Town on April 9.

*Twitter: JamesShield1