Sheffield United loan bid for Mason Holgate off after Everton ask for higher fee

Sheffield United’s loan swoop for Mason Holgate has collapsed after Everton’s last-minute demand for a bigger fee.

The Toffees wanted the Blades to pay £250,000 after it was agreed the defender’s loan at Southampton would be cancelled and he would move to Bramall Lane, the PA news agency understands.

United had also agreed to cover a portion of the 27-year-old’s wages but fourth-bottom Everton wanted a late payment as the Blades are Premier League relegation rivals.

It saw the deal fall through – despite Holgate travelling to Yorkshire for a medical – and it remains to be seen if the move can be resurrected.

He remains at St Mary’s, although Southampton are open to cancelling his loan this month.

Holgate has only made six appearances for the Saints this season and has not featured in the Sky Bet Championship since October, with Russell Martin’s side on a record-equalling 20-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

Blades boss Chris Wilder revealed his frustrations at failing to make any further additions before they host West Ham on Sunday.

They have only signed Ben Brereton Diaz on loan from Villarreal in their battle against relegation, with the club bottom on just nine points.

Wilder says he would not have asked his board for reinforcements if he thought there was no chance of avoiding the drop.

“Hopefully a couple more before the window shuts will make us stronger,” Wilder said. “We will be in a better place when the window shuts.

“We are quite frustrated because we felt we could have got them in for the weekend, the deadline was 12pm today but we have worked very hard in identifying a couple of potential signings coming in before next week.

“I always knew it wasn’t going to be a huge window in terms of big numbers coming in. Two or three was the targeted number and I believe we will reach the targets.

“I wouldn’t have asked the club to make those decisions if I didn’t think there was any fight left in us.

Sheffield United’s Anel Ahmedhodzic has been linked with a move to Napoli (Mike Egerton/PA)
Sheffield United’s Anel Ahmedhodzic has been linked with a move to Napoli (Mike Egerton/PA)

“There is definitely a huge fight left in myself and I have seen that in the players. If I didn’t think that I would say to the board, ‘Keep your powder dry and we’ll plan for another season in a different division’.

“That might still happen but it won’t be through a lack of fight and commitment.”

Blades skipper Anel Ahmedhodzic has been linked with a move to Napoli, but Wilder says there has been no bid.

“I have spoken to Anel about it, he is a grounded individual and he loves playing for Sheffield United,” he said. “I don’t think speculation is a bad thing.

“You’d rather be talked about than not talked about. It is speculation, I have not been told from above that there is a potential deal in the offing, it is noise.”