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Sport

Blades boss Wilder frustrated after Lundstram rejects new deal

Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v Sheffield United - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - July 26, 2020 Sheffield United's John Lundstram celebrates scoring their first goal, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pool via REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

(Reuters) - Sheffield United midfielder John Lundstram has refused the offer of a new contract and is likely to leave the club, manager Chris Wilder said on Thursday.

Lundstram, who signed from Oxford United in 2017 and helped the Blades win promotion to the Premier League, is in the final year of his contract, and Wilder said the club would listen to offers for the 26-year-old in January.

“I am very frustrated about it. Cards on the table, I believe John should have signed it,” the manager told reporters before Saturday’s home game against Manchester City.

“We have offered him a very good contract that is up there with the top players at the club and he has made the decision with his agent that he doesn’t want to sign.

“He is a Sheffield United player and still up for selection, but the three options are straightforward for me -- he runs down his contract... which is not ideal for us, or we try to recoup some value for the player in the January window.

“The best option is he signs the new contract - which doesn’t look like it will happen and that’s unfortunate.”

United were beaten 2-1 by Liverpool in their last match, but Wilder said he was pleased with their display against the defending champions at Anfield, and that his team would head into the game against City in good spirits.

“The players know we’re here to pick up points, but they also understand a good performance from a not-so-good one and we can take heart from that at Anfield,” he said.

The manager added that French forward Lys Mousset, who has not played this season due to a toe injury, could return at the start of December.

Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Chennai; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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