Sheffield United: Doubts over John Brayford's future at Bramall Lane after George Baldock signing

John Brayford
John Brayford

George Baldock's arrival at Sheffield United has pushed John Brayford a step closer to the Bramall Lane exit door.

Chris Wilder, the Blades boss, has refused to give any assurances about Brayford's future in South Yorkshire and made 24-year-old right-back Baldock his fourth summer signing on Tuesday.

And with Kieron Freeman now an instrumental member of Wilder's plans after his 11-goal part in United's title triumph last season, the manager plans to meet with Brayford as he continues to shape his squad for the Championship.

"John is under contract with us, he's still here with us as it were," Wilder said.

"We'll have a sit down and discuss where everybody is at. Then we'll see what the situation is and take it from there. But, like I say, John is still our player."

Brayford, the £1.5m signing from Cardiff in 2015, spent the majority of last season on loan at Burton Albion in the Championship while Wilder's Blades won League One, hitting the 100-point barrier for the first time in their history.

Blades new boy George Baldock

Blades new boy George Baldock

Brayford - reunited once more with Nigel Clough, the former Blades boss who brought him to Bramall Lane - played a key role in helping the Brewers stay in the Championship, and was runner-up in the club's player of the year vote.

Clough is thought to be exploring the possibility of another permanent move for Brayford, who is approaching the final year of his contract at Bramall Lane, but the full-back's wages may prove to be a stumbling block.

His situation is further complicated by the superb form of Freeman, the arrival of Baldock and Brayford's own fitness issues.

The 29-year-old made 34 appearances for Burton last season, but sources close to the Pirelli Stadium suggest he played through injuries at times and was placed on a reduced training schedule through the week.

"Kieron came in when John went out and, as everybody could see, did really well," Wilder added.

"You want that competition for places because it keeps everybody on their toes, though. So we'll have a meeting with John, have a chat and see what everybody's thoughts on the situation are. I think that's important."