Blades favourites for Sharp, admit Scunthorpe

DAVID CUFFLEY Scunthorpe United have conceded that striker Billy Sharp is likely to return to Sheffield United.The Blades announced yesterday that Sharp, who had talks with Norwich City last week over a £2m move, was on his way back to Bramall Lane - only for Scunthorpe to insist no deal had been agreed and he was still their player.

DAVID CUFFLEY

Scunthorpe United have conceded that striker Billy Sharp is likely to return to Sheffield United.

The Blades announced yesterday that Sharp, who had talks with Norwich City last week over a £2m move, was on his way back to Bramall Lane - only for Scunthorpe to insist no deal had been agreed and he was still their player.

But Iron chairman Steve Wharton admitted today that United were favourites to land the 21-year-old striker, though he confessed he was taken by surprise by their announcement.


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“Earlier this week I still thought Wolves were the favourites to sign Billy,” Wharton told the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph.

“It was only on Wednesday I was told of Sheffield United's interest. I now have to say that they must be the favourites.

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“We gave Billy permission to talk to any club he liked, providing they knew the criteria we were asking for him.

“I have heard what Sheffield United chairman Terry Robinson has said.

“I am aware that they are preparing a bid for Billy - but they have not submitted one yet for us to consider. I am now waiting to receive one.

“We have said all along that if Billy wanted to move this summer, we would help him find the club he wanted.”

United know the asking price is £2 million-plus - but there is still plenty of hard bargaining to be done.

The Blades are likely to argue for a reduction in the fee as they have a sizeable sell-on clause on Billy following his move two seasons ago.

Scunthorpe may still hold out for £2 million up front but without the add-ons they were looking for.

City have yet to officially concede defeat in their pursuit of Sharp.

“We have obviously seen some speculation in the media suggesting that Sheffield United feel they are close to concluding a deal to take Billy Sharp to Bramall Lane,” said chief executive Neil Doncaster.

“However, as Scunthorpe's official website is carryng a story stating categorically that Sharp is still their player we have got nothing further to say on the situation at this time.”

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