Report: Sheffield United revive deal for Southend's Ryan Leonard after Paul Coutts blow

Chris Wilder Manager of Sheffield United looks on prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield United at Loftus Road on October 31, 2017 in London,...

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder admits he needs cover in central midfield - and The Blades may look at Ryan Leonard again.

Chris Wilder Manager of Sheffield United looks on prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield United at Loftus Road on October 31, 2017 in London,...

Even conceding five goals in a thrilling home defeat to Fulham on Tuesday night does not overshadow the fact that Sheffield United have had one hell of a successful season so far.

After cruising to the League One title in 2016/17, Chris Wilder’s Blades have looked similarly superb in the division above. After 18 games played, Sheffield United are third in the table and just five points adrift of league-leaders and promotion favourites Wolves.

One potential concern, however, is a lack of depth in central midfield – a problem exacerbated hugely with Paul Coutts set to miss the rest of the season with a fractured tibia.

Paul Coutts of Sheffield United and Josh McEachran of Brentford in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Brentford at Bramall Lane on August 5, 2017 in...

And after Wilder admitted that he was hoping to sign a midfielder in January in order to cover a ‘specialist position’. And The Star reports that long-running target Ryan Leonard is set to be on the club’s wishlist again with a month remaining until the transfer window opens once more.

United tried in vain to bring Leonard to Brammal Lane from Southend United in the off season. But the 25-year-old will be a free agent in the summer and, as he is refusing to accept a new deal, The Shrimpers may be more receptive to offers in the winter.

Ryan Leonard of Southend United in action during the Sky Bet League Two match between Northampton Town and Southend United at Sixfields Stadium on January 3, 2015 in Northampton, England.

Leonard, who has started 18 League One games for Phil Brown’s side this season, can play in central midfield or at right-back – so fulfils Wilder’s desire for a player who can be fielded in a number of different positions.

Wilder, assistant boss Alan Knill and head of recruitment Paul Mitchell will draw up a list of targets before January with Sheffield United harbouring realistic aims of successive promotions.

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