Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom has played down rumours linking centre-back John Egan with a move away from Bramall Lane.
Leeds were credited with an interest in the Republic of Ireland international over the summer, while West Ham have been linked with a £12m January bid since the window has shut. When asked about Egan’s future, Heckingbottom said that the defender is integral to his plans:
“John is a big part of what we do. As a person, he’s great and he’s stepping up and being more of a leader. He’s becoming more vocal and understanding that part of himself. He has a lot of personal goals to fulfil, which I like. But I want him to share that personality and project it on more people as well.”
“To be fit and available constantly shows you’ve got to be a good professional and as a footballer, he’s good. There are lots of things we do where he’s really important for us. Lots of things. Slight adjustments we try to make in a game, involve him. He’s very important.”
Egan will have eighteen months remaining on his contract in the New Year so the Blades may well be forced into selling if a Premier League team does table a sizeable offer for the 29-year-old.
However, with United sitting top of the table, Heckingbottom would be very reluctant to lose a key player right in the middle of their push for promotion. The best outcome for the Yorkshire club would be if Egan agrees to sign an extension to his current deal before January, which would put to an end any speculation about a transfer.