Report: Southend exit near for Blades target after rejecting new deal?

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Ryan Leonard has rejected a new contract at Southend after a renewed bid from Sheffield United was rejected.

Sheffield United have received a boost in their pursuit of Ryan Leonard, with the Echo reporting the midfielder has rejected a new contract at Southend United.

The 25-year-old has less than a year left to run on his current deal at Roots Hall and has turned down the chance to sign a new four-year contract at the Essex club.

Sheffield United manager Chris WilderSheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Leonard has now retracted a transfer request following a discussion with Shrimpers chairman Ron Martin, however, after a £500,000 bid from the Blades for him was rejected on Friday (July 14).

According to the Sheffield Star, the former Plymouth Argyle man has told his agent he wants to play Championship football next season, though, which can only be good news for United.

Southend have repeatedly reiterated that Leonard is not for sale, with both Martin and manager Phil Brown wanting to keep hold of their two-time player of the year.

Yet after being left out of the squad to play Braintree Town in a pre-season friendly on Saturday (July 15) and with less than 12 months remaining on his current deal, they may be forced to change that stance.

Southend United's Ryan LeonardSouthend United's Ryan Leonard

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