SHEFFIELD UNITED: Blades ready to battle if big boys come calling for Maguire and Long

Talented: George Long has shone at the Lane
Talented: George Long has shone at the Lane

DANNY Wilson has warned rival clubs against making bids for George Long and Harry Maguire after revealing he will “fight tooth and nail” to ensure the pair are still Sheffield United players after next month’s transfer window.

Wilson, who also confirmed he wants to lure Motherwell’s Jamie Murphy to Bramall Lane, admitted coaching staff are braced to receive offers for the talented teenage pair.

But the United manager rubbished claims that the League One club want to cash in on either despite acknowledging that new financial measures mean a successful move for Murphy would have to be “self-financing”.

“I’ve not received any calls for Harry or George,” Wilson revealed. “Nobody has spoken to me.

“Listen, we can’t be surprised if someone has a nibble because they’re good players. But it would have to be a damn big nibble to even tempt us to talk.

“Nobody here is even thinking about selling them because we want to build a young team with them in it.”

Maguire, an England under-21 international, has made 88 appearances for United while goalkeeper Long, also 19, has been an ever-present between the posts since October.

Wilson, confirming Kevin McDonald could return to action at Crawley Town tomorrow, added: “We know we must be doing something right here to be producing players like them. Young lads here will always get a chance.

“When you go to one of the so-called really big clubs then you can get swallowed up. Stay here and play is what we tell them.”

Murphy, who has scored eight goals for Stuart McCall’s side so far this term, is among Wilson’s targets. However, players on the periphery of United’s squad could depart - potentially on loan - to prevent them from breaching the Salary Cost Management Protocol should he arrive.

“We have made contact and I’ve spoken to Stuart,” Wilson said. “But we’ve looked at a few others too.

“But that’s all I’m saying because I’m not going to be disrespectful to Motherwell.”