Paul Heckingbottom is hoping to avoid any late transfer drama ahead of tonight’s 11pm deadline after insisting everyone at Sheffield United “is on the same page” when it comes to player sales. United have made 10 summer signings, with James McAtee’s loan arrival the latest and probably last.
McAtee agreed a season-long loan deal at Bramall Lane to make his return to the club he helped into the Premier League last season, while on loan from Manchester City. The youngster spoke of a deep affection for United that made the decision an easy one, although his signing didn’t beat the 12noon deadline to be eligible for tomorrow’s clash with Everton.
“He’s someone we kept tabs on,” Heckingbottom said this afternoon. “There are a lot of young loan players from big clubs who we had to keep tabs on but well aware it usually comes down to the last couple of days when top six do their business and it funnels down to the rest of the players. We were in the hunt for a few of them and we’ve got Macca which we’re delighted about.
“He knows us and he was keen to come back to us, which says a lot. and he’s keen to improve further. We can offer the Premier Lague this time but he knows that he’ll be pushed along the way and it caps off what has been a real tough window. A hard working window, but I think we’ve done some good business in it.”
Heckingbottom, speaking on Sky Sports News from United’s transfer base at their Shirecliffe training ground, is not switching off totally until the clock ticks past 11pm, however. Asked if McAtee completes his transfer business for the summer, he said: “That’s it. But I’m not relaxed until [the window] closes; the only way it wouldn’t be it is if someone comes and buys one of our players.
“We’re all on the same page, I’ve just been on the phone with Prince Abdullah there. We’re happy, we’re content with what we’ve done and we’ve all worked really hard. So I’m hoping that’s it for us. We’ll be aware of what could potentially happen in the next couple of hours but hopefully we’ve done all our business and we can look forward and just attack the rest of the season.”