Sheffield United could offer Louis Reed, their exciting teenage midfielder, an improved contract to stave off potential interest from rival clubs.
Reed, who became the youngest player to represent United in a league fixture after facing Rotherham 14 months ago, embellished his burgeoning reputation with a series of impressive displays for England’s under-18s side during the close season.
Sources close to Bramall Lane last night claimed that has prompted members of its hierarchy to explore the possibility of renegotiating the three-year deal he signed at the start of the previous campaign.
Although Reed, aged 17, has no desire to leave South Yorkshire, Arsenal are known to have monitored his progress at the Redtooth Academy before former manager Nigel Clough selected him for the visit of Steve Evans’ side.
United, who appointed Nigel Adkins as their new manager four weeks ago, resume training this morning as they attempt to claw themselves out of League One at the fifth attempt.
Reed was the only player playing his trade outside of the Premier League or the Championship to be selected among the 18-strong party which travelled to Russia recently when England recorded a win and a draw from their double-header in Moscow.
Liverpool’s Sheyi Ojo, Tammy Abraham of Chelsea and Callum Connolly from Everton all took part. Reed also featured for Neil Dewsnip’s charges against Switzerland in March.
United begin their pre-season schedule at Ilkeston on July 18 before facing Cheltenham Town and Exeter in the South-west on July 21 and July 23 respectively.
Newcastle provide the opposition when Chris Morgan, a member of Adkins’ backroom staff, celebrates his testimonial at Bramall Lane on July 26 before fixtures against Macclesfield Town (July 29) and Hull City (August 2) complete United’s friendly programme.
They begin the new League One campaign at Gillingham six days later.
Reed, speaking earlier this month, admitted he hoped the experience of representing his country will help him cement a regular place in Adkins’ plans.
“I was pleased to have kept my place in the squad with England after my debut earlier in the season,” he said. “Hopefully it will benefit me in pre-season back at United under a new manager when the hard work begins.
“My parents were there to see me play, which was really special. It was a fantastic experience for me and excellent for my development.”