The Sheffield United board are beginning to lose their patience with defender Kean Bryan according to the Star, with the 24-year-old continuing to stall on a new deal.
Centre-back Bryan is currently a free agent after his current contract with the Blades expired at the end of last month – and was subject of interest from fellow promotion hopefuls West Bromwich Albion last month.
However, the loan signing of Brighton and Hove Albion’s Matt Clarke and the rumoured arrival of versatile 22-year-old Trevoh Chalobah has left the Englishman in an uncertain situation as he aims to get the best deal for himself going into the 2021/22 campaign.
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Bryan made his first-team breakthrough at Bramall Lane last season, recording 13 appearances in the absence of Jack O’Connell and stepping up well during his first full season in the top flight.
With the South Yorkshire side now back in the Championship, Phil Jagielka leaving the club at the end of his contract and O’Connell still recovering from his long-term injury, there’s a real chance the central defender could make many more appearances next term alongside the likes of John Egan and Chris Basham.
However, his contract antics have upset the club’s hierarchy and when asked about the 24-year-old’s situation, new manager Slavisa Jokanovic was strikingly blunt.
In an interview with the Sheffield Star, the Serbian said of Bryan: “He is not with us, so I am not thinking about him. I am only thinking about the players who are with us.
“If something changes, then the club will tell me. But right now, no, I am not thinking about him because he isn’t here with us. If that changes, then I think about him. If not, then I don’t.”
Sheffield United would be well within their rights to retract their contract offer at this point, because this saga has dragged on for far too long and has become a distraction from the good work Jokanovic is doing with his new squad this pre-season.
However, the one thing that might be keeping that deal on the table is the fact they missed out on Brighton defender Matt Clarke, who was previously linked with a move but will spend next season on loan at West Brom.
Now the Baggies have recruited Clarke, Bryan may decide to U-turn on previous intentions and remain at Bramall Lane for the foreseeable future.
This could depend on whether Fulham, Swansea and Premier League side Watford are still interested in the 24-year-old – but he could potentially end up with no offers soon, even from Sheffield United, if he doesn’t decide his future soon.