June 19, 2020 / 2:43 PM / 15 days ago

Blades players offered new deals, future in their hands, says Wilder

File Photo: Premier League - Sheffield United v Newcastle United - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - December 5, 2019 Newcastle United's Jonjo Shelvey celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates REUTERS/Andrew Yates

(Reuters) - Sheffield United players whose contracts expire this month have been offered new deals to stay at the club and the ball is now in their court, manager Chris Wilder said on Friday.

United have tied down striker David McGoldrick, skipper Billy Sharp and vice-captain Oliver Norwood to new deals, but the likes of John Lundstram and Phil Jagielka will see their contracts expire on June 30.

“We’ve spoken to them and their agents, our deals are with them now,” Wilder told reporters in a virtual news conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Newcastle United.

“If they want to take up their reward for their performances, it’s up to them now. We will leave them out there and see what the response is from the players but agents seem to be the way of the world.”

Sixth-placed United were held to a goalless draw by Aston Villa on their return to action on Wednesday, three months after the season was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Blades were denied a goal due to a goalline technology error and Wilder said such mistakes need to be eliminated with the resources available to referees in the modern game.

“I wasn’t expecting Villa to let us score. That never crossed my mind. I was just expecting the technology to be correct. It’s unacceptable in this day and age,” Wilder, 52, added.

“Technology has let us down but it should have been backed up by a bit of courage and I didn’t see much of that on the night from Stockley Park.”

Wilder confirmed that midfielder John Fleck and defender Jack O’Connell, who both missed the trip to Villa Park due to injuries, have a chance of making a return against Newcastle.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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