Sheffield United were promoted back to the Championship largely on the back of Billy Sharp’s incredible 30 goal haul. Now the Sheffield Star say the Blades are in the hunt for Celtic striker-cum-winger Gary Mackay-Steven.

The Blades have already brought in Ched Evans, Nathan Thomas and Enda Stevens ahead of their Championship return, and are now said to have enquired about bringing the Celtic player to Bramall Lane on loan next season.

Quoting ‘sources in Scotland’, the Star say that these sources “suggest that [Sheffield] United and Blackburn Rovers have made contact with the 26-year-old’s representatives.”

Mackay-Steven, who was schooled in the Liverpool Under-18s, after signing from Ross County Under-17s in July 2007, cut a lonely and peripheral figure at Celtic last season. Whilst his teammates were celebrating the treble and an unbeaten domestic season, the former Liverpool and Fulham youngster made just nine appearances, gaining just 475 minutes of SPL experience.

The Blades will be looking at Mackay-Steven with a view to him replicating the form he had at Dundee United, when the South Yorkshire side were last interested in him in 2015. Over his 131 games for The Terrors, Mackay-Steven scored 27 times and provided 36 assists.

The Star also say that the Blades are interested in Southend star Ryan Leonard, a central midfielder who played 43 times last season for the Shrimpers, scoring three goals and providing two assists. Sheffield United have had two bids, including “an improved offer”, turned down by Southend who are said keen to hold on to the 25-year-old.

However, the Blades are said to face competition for his signature from fellow promoted sides Bolton Wanderers and Millwall.

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Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.