Sheffield United are continuing to hold talks aimed at appointing a new chief scout as manager Chris Wilder begins rebuilding his first-team squad.
Paul Mitchell, previously of Chesterfield, is thought to be in pole position to fill the vacancy created when Lee Turnbull, previously United’s head of recruitment, departed Bramall Lane last month.
Wilder, who released 10 and transfer-listed another seven members of the squad he inherited from Nigel Adkins, is known to be an admirer of Mitchell’s ability to spot a player after he helped deliver the likes of Sam Clucas and Jimmy Ryan to the Proact Stadium.
But at least two other as yet unidentified candidates are also believed to have expressed an interest in replacing Turnbull following Wilder’s arrival in South Yorkshire.
Acknowledging recruitment will be “key” for United this summer, Wilder said: “There has to be balance and competition. There has to be a versatility too, players who can play in a variety of positions. So we are probably looking at, numbers wise, about 24 or 25.
“We’ll work with people in a sensible way, make sure they are fit and ready for action. We’ll make sure they are durable and can get through a season.”
“My aim is just to win the next game and see where it takes us,” Wilder added. “Long term, obviously, we want to get out of this division. There should be nothing to stop us doing it this year if we get things right, the players gel and we bring in good people.
“The best manager in the world has never got every single signing right. But they are going to be important for us.”