Sheffield United manager David Weir will continue to hold auditions for the attacking midfield role vacated by Kevin McDonald, despite receiving permission to enter the transfer market.
Weir, who has indicated he could also bolster his options at centre-forward, is understood to be considering a number of potential targets following talks with the South Yorkshire club’s hierarchy.
But members of United’s first team squad have been told they can stake their own claims after Callum McFadzean started last weekend’s visit of Colchester.
Weir, who praised the youngster’s contribution, said: “We have to experiment and develop because there’s lots of talent already here.”
As The Star revealed on Monday, United banked £250,000 when McDonald joined their League One rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers. Officials at Molineux secured the 24-year-old’s services last week after activating a release clause in his contract.
United attempted to fend-off Wolves’ interest with an improved offer of their own - believed to be initially worth around £7,500 per week - but the player opted to depart.
Although Weir has remained tight-lipped about his recruitment plans, Watford’s Sean Murray could be among those considered given Bramall Lane’s strong links with Vicarage Road. The teenager, a former team mate of Stephen McGinn, made only 16 starts last term as Gianfranco Zola imported a flurry of loan signings.
Several members of United’s football department previously worked for the Hertfordshire club, with those contacts paving the way for McGinn’s arrival in June. However, reports they have held talks regarding Murray’s availability are wide of the mark with other positions viewed as being more immediate priorities.
Peterborough, who host United in October, are monitoring Stevie May after the St Johnstone striker made his Scotland under-21 debut at Bramall Lane eight days ago.
Meanwhile, United have sold out their ticket allocation for the forthcoming trip to Rotherham. This weekend’s visit to Bradford is all ticket for away supporters.