SHEFFIELD UNITED boss Chris Wilder already has one eye on next season as relegation from the Premier League edges closer

The Blades have picked up just 11 points from 25 games, an average of just 0.44 points per game. Most people consider 40 points as the number of points needed to secure Premier League survival.

That would leave Wilders men needing 29 points from their last 13 league fixtures, an average of 2.23 points per game, title winning form essentially.

While United have picked up a few more good results since the turn of the year, relegation back to the Championship seems to be a matter of when not if.

Which the Blades boss now seems resigned to. Wilder told the BBC: “third season in the Premier League in the last 20 years, second season obviously in consecutive seasons and obviously being realistic it doesn’t look like we’re gonna make it a third one”.

The worlds first United should be in good stead if they do get relegated, they will have parachute payments coming in, a lot of key players coming back from injury and have the chance for a proper preseason in comparison to this campaign.

But, most importantly, the likelihood of fans being able to return to Bramall Lane in some capacity is looking increasingly likely following the governments announcement on the 22nd of February.

Wilder, a boyhood Blade who also played for the club when he was a former professional has already stated he wants to keep the core group of players for next season when speaking to the Sheffield Star: “For me the model of the club is to keep and go again. I don’t want to lose anybody.

“I’m working to the model of keeping everybody unless a fabulous bid comes in and we can’t stand in their way and it’s right for the club.”

One player who Sheffield United might struggle to keep hold of is former club record signing and Norwegian international, Sander Berge, with Premier League rivals Aston Villa apparently interested in the 23-year-old.

The former K.R.C Genk midfielder is currently out injured with a hamstring injury but Wilder admitted to Norway’s TV2 that the fans favourite could be on his way out of Sheffield: “I know that Sander will not be here until he is 32 years old, but we enjoy working with him and hopefully he has some games left as a Sheffield United player.

“I understand that if he leaves and it happens, then it happens with our blessing.”

However, Sheffield United are already identifying targets for next season, with WalesOnline reporting that the side from South Yorkshire are targeting Cardiff City youngster Kieron Evans.

Chris Wilder said to YorkshireLive that they are looking to identify new transfer targets “The recruitment team is still ploughing ahead in terms of identifying players as we have always done.”

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