Chris Wilder seems to be working tirelessly at Bramall Lane this summer, ensuring that his Sheffield United side are ready for their first return to the Sky Bet Championship since 2011.
Four new signings have already been made this summer, with Ched Evans, Nathan Thomas, Enda Stevens and George Baldock all adding depth to Wilder’s squad.
Wilder appears to be in the market for an experienced central defender, and having missed out on Ryan Bennett, who opted for a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers, his attentions will surely have turned elsewhere.
Sensationally, the Blades have been linked with former England international, Phil Jagielka, with the bookies installing Wilder’s side as the odds-on favourite to sign the Everton defender.
Jagielka left Bramall Lane ten years ago, and at 34, he would be the perfect man to return to South Yorkshire ahead of the Blades’ return to the second-tier.
The central defender has made almost 300 top-flight appearances for Everton, and before that he played a significant role in helping the Blades to the Premier League, featuring in every league fixture of the 2005/06 season as United won promotion.
That type of experience, combined with over 15 years of first-team football, could be invaluable to Wilder in the Championship next season, as he looks to give his side the best chance of establishing themselves in the second-tier.
At 34, Jagielka is not a long-term option for the Blades, but the defender’s experience in English football makes him an attractive option for Wilder this summer.
If Wilder can bring Jagielka back to Bramall Lane it will be a real positive for the Blades, as the Everton defender is exactly what a largely inexperienced squad needs heading back into the Championship.