SHEFFIELD UNITED: Ben Parker on Blades list

Wanted man: Former Leeds defender Ben Parker interests Sheffield United
Wanted man: Former Leeds defender Ben Parker interests Sheffield United

SHEFFIELD United are interested in signing former Leeds defender Ben Parker.

Parker, whose contract at Elland Road was recently terminated by mutual consent, is understood to feature on Danny Wilson’s wanted list after severing his ties with the Championship club.

Wilson, the United manager, has identified reinforcements at left-back as one of his top priorities this summer following Andy Taylor’s departure last week.

With Haiti international Lecsinel Jean-Francois set to miss the start of next season with a serious ligament injury, Marcus Williams could be the only experienced option at United’s disposal when the 2012/13 season begins in August.

“Ben wants to get his future sorted out as quickly as possible,” a source close to the 24-year-old confirmed last night.

“He’s looking forward to a fresh start and is raring to go.

“He’s been working hard and wants to get back to doing what he does best which is playing football.

“Ben is a good player and there are some good options out there.”

United are understood to be in pole position to secure Parker’s services should Wilson decide to pursue his interest.

However, they would face competition from neighbours Rotherham and League One rivals Scunthorpe, who have also been monitoring Parker since his departure from West Yorkshire in April.

Despite seeing a succession of fitness problems hamper his progress, Parker remains highly regarded in football circles.

“He’s had bad luck but he’s not going to make it with us and it’s not fair to him,” Ken Bates, the Leeds chairman, said after Parker’s exit was announced.

“He’s a lovely fellow and we wish him all the best. Although he is finished with us, he is going to carry on training to make sure he is fit for next season.”

Parker, who was Leeds’ longest serving player, made five appearances for Carlisle during a loan spell in Cumbria last term.

He has also represented Bradford City, Darlington and England at youth level.