The Blades are planning for life in the Championship next season, following relegation from the Premier League, and have spoken to a “number of potential candidates, both in this country and abroad”.
Interim manager Heckingbottom – “who has performed commendably in the circumstances” according to Blades chief executive officer, Stephen Bettis – is still in the running.
Bettis said: “The process of searching for a new manager to lead Sheffield United next season and beyond continues and remains the biggest priority at Bramall Lane.
“When Paul Heckingbottom was placed as interim manager back in March, we commented that he would remain in charge of team matters until the end of the season. The reason for this is that it would give us the time to thoroughly explore every option available to us.
“That remains the case. We have spoken to a number of potential candidates, both in this country and abroad, and will continue to do so in the best possible interests of the club, due diligience is an important factor as we strive to appoint the right person to enable us to make a promotion push from the EFL Championship.
“We have now cut our search down to a shortlist of five candidates, which includes Paul Heckingbottom, who has performed commendably in the circumstances, and the board of directors will continue to take time to deliberate whilst the current season remains in progress.
“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank all Unitedites for their patience.”
Several names have been linked with the Bramall Lane job including former Watford and Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic, Jason Tindall and German Alexander Blessin.
United have five games remaining in the Premier League, but are 17 points adrift of safety.
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