David Brooks part of Sheffield United's future if Wilder has his way

SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Chris Wilder insists emerging talent David Brooks is not for sale.

Sheffield United's David Brooks appeals for a decision during the game with Wolves (Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage).

The 20-year-old Wales international has been one of the stars of the Championship this season, and was rewarded by a long-term contract in October.

Several Premier League clubs, including Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham, have all been monitoring the midfielder, with one top-flight club reported this week to be willing to fund a £10m-plus deal.

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Blades manager Wilder is adamant he does not want to cash in on Brooks although he concedes the ultimate decision will be made in the Bramall Lane boardroom.

“There’s a lot of off-the-record conversations, whether agents connected very closely with clubs, or even clubs asking ‘what are you doing with players?’,” said Wilder.

“Nothing changes from my point of view, for David, he is not for sale.

“He is part of what we are doing going forward. Yes, I have had a conversation, and people understand he is an outstanding talent.

“But I have made it loud and clear that he isn’t for sale from my point of view. If anybody makes a bid, football now, it doesn’t really go through managers.

“It goes through chief executives and chairmen, that’s a decision the club have to make if they do get bids and offers from other clubs for our players.

“One thing I will say, I do look at our squad now and think we have a lot of assets in our football squad since we walked through the door.

“Even after 20 games in this division assets have gone up because they have been in the top six all season.

“Regarding David Brooks, or any other player, we have some really good players here and players who will be attractive propositions for other clubs.

“I would rather it be that way, than everybody think our players are garbage and not worth a dime.”

Despite a five-game winless streak the Blades remain in the Championship’s top six ahead of tomorrow’s televised trip to Aston Villa.

January will be a key month, in terms of bringing in players to bolster the Blades’ squad.

Negotiations continue to strike a permanent deal with Southend United for winger Ryan Leonard.

Wilder was reluctant to reveal how much money will be made available to him to strengthen when the January transfer window reopens next week, but admits he will have to focus primarily on the loan market.

“We have got a big January window to work in, I don’t want to stand still,” he said.

“We have exceeded expectations, we are way above where we should be – we understand that – but I don’t want that to slip.

“We need to trade, trade well, get the maximum out of what we have been given by the board. It’s a difficult window to work in and the budget is set by the board.

“I will work within what they give me. Whether it’s nothing, I will get on with my job of trying to win football matches; if it’s a bigger number I will try to get the maximum out of it.

“We are possibly one or two midfield players off and another couple of positions. So we are possibly looking at four players, if everybody stays; four players in and possibly four going the other way, on loan or permanent.”

The Blades have submitted a new bid for Leonard, a 25-year-old who has been a long-standing target for Wilder.

“We are still in negotiations with them (Southend) above me,” he confirmed. “I have given head of football operations Carl Shieber some names and we have crunched numbers. From then it’s over to the business and negotiating side (of the club) to hopefully get those players in.

“We are hopeful that the targets we have identified, with the numbers I have been given, we can go and get. I work well with Carl. I get a number and have to make that fit then he has to make that fit with me.

“We are not getting what we want, just trying to get what we can with what we have got, if that makes sense. We identify and speak to players that suit us. I think it’s going to be a scenario, with the money I am given, that we are trying to do one permanent deal – and that’s been out there from Southend’s point of view – and the other two or three have got to be loans.

“You can’t squeeze permanents, or permanents that make you better, into the money you have got. I don’t want to just bring players in that are lower than what we already have, we want players to boost the group.”

Mark Duffy and David Brooks have handed the Blades a major fitness by returning to training.

The pair missed last week’s defeat at Preston North End, but are back in contention for tomorrow’s trip to Villa Park.

“Duffy has trained this week, Brooks trained Thursday, so fingers crossed both will be available for the weekend. We missed two really good players last week, having them back in the group is good news for us.”