The full extent of Sheffield United’s efforts to retain Kevin McDonald’s services can today be laid bare, writes James Shield.
McDonald, who appeared destined to become a key figure in David Weir’s team this season, ended his association with Bramall Lane on Wednesday after completing a protracted transfer to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
United’s League One rivals set in motion the chain of events which eventually delivered the 24-year-old to Molineux when they triggered a release clause in his contract last week.
Weir, the South Yorkshire club’s manager, acknowledged when news of McDonald’s departure was confirmed that the midfielder had been “made a very serious offer” to stay.
Weir refused to elaborate on the exact details. But The Star can reveal that United’s response centred on an enhanced deal, complete with signing on fee, which also guaranteed a further pay rise should they achieve promotion before it expired.
Wolves, who are believed to be paying McDonald nearly £10,000 a week, tabled a bid of £1 above the undisclosed amount which guaranteed them the right to speak with the former Scotland under-21 international and his representative just hours before United visited Brentford six days ago.
Blackpool were also monitoring McDonald’s situation but, despite their Championship status, could not match the terms being offered by Wolves.
Weir, whose team visit Molineux on September 28, could ask Stephen McGinn or Conor Coady to perform the ‘number 10’ role against Colchester tomorrow.
McDonald joined United in August 2011.