SHEFFIELD United have yet to receive an approach from Leicester City aimed at luring Ched Evans to the Walkers Stadium but are still expected to invite offers for the Wales striker after being relegated from the Championship.
Reports last week claimed that Sven Goran Eriksson, the Leicester manager, had submitted a £1m offer for the former Manchester City marksman after working together at Eastlands.
Although The Star can confirm that Evans’ name was raised during discussions between Eriksson and his Thai employers, there has been no contact between the respective clubs.
Nevertheless, United will entertain all serious bids for the 22-year-old as they attempt to balance the books at Bramall Lane.
Plc chairman Kevin McCabe recently admitted that savings would have to be made to cope with an estimated £12m loss of revenue in League One.
Speaking just hours before Fulham tabled a bid for teenage forward Jordan Slew, he said: “We’ve had a few enquiries about players but, at this stage, no firm offers.
“The market has changed dramatically in a short space of time.
“Not so long ago, a club in our position would have been inundated with offers.
“Now it seems that people are more inclined to wait a while before making their moves.”
However, finances are likely to dictate that Evans, understood to be the highest earning player on United’s payroll following his £3m move from City 23 months ago, is off-loaded irrespective of new manager Danny Wilson’s wishes.
It is inconceivable, though, that the former Northern Ireland international did not discuss likely departures before agreeing to replace Micky Adams at the helm.
“Part of the remit is to help revitalise us with youth,” added McCabe. “We need to blend in the youngsters we’ve got coming through.
“But, at the same time, we do recognise that we are going to need more than youngsters to succeed.
“We can’t rely purely on the kids. We appreciate that but we must make better use of them and we’ve made no secret of that.”
By stark contrast Eriksson, bankrolled by Leicester’s new owners, is expected to embark on a lavish spending spree this summer with Yakubu and Emile Heskey believed to feature among his targets.
The Swede could be tempted to revisit the Evans situation if either proves elusive.
Despite the resources at his disposal, Eriksson already appears to have been thwarted in efforts to capture former United full-back Kyle Naughton and Chelsea duo Jeffrey Bruma and Patrick van Aanholt.
Naughton, who could yet be offered an opportunity at parent club Tottenham Hotspur, is also admired by newly promoted Queens Park Rangers.
Should Harry Redknapp decide to sell, then Eriksson fears the defender could be out of his price range.
“It will be expensive to buy him,” he said. “He is a great player and I am sure it is not only us who want him.
“I am quite sure he has had offers from the Premier League as well.
“I don’t know if we’ll miss out on him. It’s too early to say but we’ll keep on trying.”
Although McCabe intimated soon after Micky Adams’ departure that he is prepared to invest another chunk of his fortune subsidising a wage bill still expected to dwarf the majority of those in English football’s third tier, Wilson confirmed that members of John Pemberton’s FA Youth Cup final squad must feature prominently at senior level next term.
That has prompted United to rebuff Fulham’s interest in Slew with senior officials at Bramall Lane now waiting to discover how the player’s representative and their counterparts at Craven Cottage will respond before deciding upon the next course of action.
One of Wilson’s first jobs after taking charge is likely to be arranging a meeting with Slew and his agent in order to discuss their intentions.
“I expect there will be people knocking on the door for our better players,” Wilson admitted after being unveiled on Friday. And for the higher paid players too. It’s inevitable when you are in our position.
“There is nothing you can do about it so you have to try and manage things the best you can.
“I know that any club that’s just been relegated is going to have to cut its cloth accordingly because of the money involved.
“It’s all part of the process I’m afraid and there’s always going to be some degree of pain but you get on with it and cope.”