Sheffield United: The Capital Contenders

Keith Curle was in Mayfair for boss talks with his former club
Keith Curle was in Mayfair for boss talks with his former club

Keith Curle and Michael Appleton have held further talks with Sheffield United about the managerial vacancy at Bramall Lane.

As The Star revealed last month, Curle features on United’s radar having parted company with Notts County earlier this year and the former England international met with members of the club’s hierarchy in Mayfair, London, yesterday.

Appleton is also believed to have been present having officially applied for the post.

Although the majority of United’s delegation to the Football League’s summer conference departed for Portugal nearly 48 hours ago, at least one member is understood to have postponed their arrival in order to oversee the talks.

Those vying to succeed Danny Wilson at the helm, which also include Port Vale coach Robert Page, are being grilled on a number of subjects including transfer policy, promoting home grown talent and delivering value for money behind the scenes.

Questions from the selection panel are also thought to include the identity of would-be assistants following the departure of Wilson’s lieutenant Frank Barlow.

Julian Winter, United’s chief executive, insisted candidates must demonstrate a “number of qualities” when he was recently questioned on the process.

“We have done a lot of detailed work on the managerial profile,” he said. “And we have spoken to people on the basis of that.”

“We have still got some interviews,” Winter continued, “And will then look to appoint from a strong line-up.”

Curle, who made over 60 appearances for United as a player before joining Barnsley in 2002, started his managerial career with Mansfield before joining County after spells on the backroom staff at Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers.

Appleton, previously of Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers, is also thought to have been earmarked for a role with England’s under-21’s should Stuart Pearce leave the Football Association after this summer’s European Championships in Israel.

Page, who like Curle still lives in Sheffield, held face to face discussions with United directors in Spain last month.

However Chris Morgan remains the only person to publicly express his desire to take charge having been appointed on an interim basis when Wilson was sacked in April.