New contract for Chris Wilder is hailed as major boost for Sheffield United ahead of Premier League return

CHRIS WILDER'S new contract at Sheffield United has put to bed any speculation about potential "suitors" wanting to lure him away, according to assistant Alan Knill.

The 51-year-old, named as Manager of the Year last term, has signed a new deal to keep him at Bramall Lane until 2022.

Wilder's success in steering the Blades to two promotions in three years had led to the former defender's reputation soaring in the game. As a result, he has been linked with several top jobs this summer, including Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion.

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Similar agreements are expected to follow for other members of the coaching team, including Wilder's right hand man Knill.

Sheffield United players being put through their paces on Wednesday at training in Portugal

"Brilliant that the contract got sorted," said the Blades assistant manager to The Yorkshire Post earlier today at the club's pre-season training camp in Portugal. "It was important for the club to get the manager done. He is the leader. He has brought back an identity to the club, which was obviously needed.

"Now, he signs a new contract. He was manager of the year, he got us promoted - that means there are suitors out there for you. That puts everything to bed.

"We can now get on with the job and look forward to our first season in the Premier League.

"We are a team as a staff. Chris and myself figurehead it but there is a lot goes on. We are a tight group and I think that is reflected in the players. Their group is close and ours is equally the same."

United flew out to Portugal last Friday and have been put through their paces in the sunshine. Yesterday saw the squad undertake three sessions of running on what the players have dubbed 'Terror Tuesday' due to the punishing nature of what has become a regular feature of pre-season during Wilder's three years at the helm.

Tomorrow will see the club throw open the doors of their training ground for supporters who have travelled out to the Algarve before United round off the trip by taking on La Liga club Real Betis on Friday night in Faro.