Sheffield United are preparing to sack manager Paul Heckingbottom with the board growing concerned about performances on the pitch and the likelihood of being relegated from the Premier League, TEAMtalk understands.
The Blades are set to appoint former manager and fan favourite Chris Wilder and have already begun the process of putting together a package for their former boss to return.
Heckingbottom will be sacked this weekend if his side are beaten heavily by Arsenal.
Some sources are stating that it won’t even take a heavy defeat for the axe to fall on the under-pressure coach and he will be gone by Monday next week. The move would not be a shock with United bottom of the table with a single point from their first nine games of the Premier League season.
TEAMtalk is told that the club has held two meetings this week with Wilder over his re-appointment. The 56-year-old is a fan of the club and turned down job offers from the USA over the past two weeks as he waits to return to Bramall Lane.
Sources state that a long-term deal will be put in place for the English coach, with some indicating that a three-year contract is on the table.
Heckingbottom was the man to bring Sheffield United back to the top division last season after a highly impressive campaign in the Championship in which they secured automatic promotion, finishing second behind Vincent Kompany’s Burnley.
The fans took to the manager straight away and saw their side dominate clubs in the second tier, becoming one of the highest-scoring teams in the division to secure a return to the Premier League following their previous relegation in 2021.
Chris Wilder set for dramatic return to Sheffield United
This season has not been smooth for Heckingbottom and his side, however, and they have been the whipping boys so far, failing to pick up a single win. Their only point to date came in a 2-2 draw at home to Everton on September 2.
They also have the worst goal difference in the division and have conceded the most goals out of the 20 teams, memorably shipping eight goals at home to Newcastle at the end of September.
Wilder left his role as Blades boss back in March 2021 but had a stellar campaign in 2019/20, guiding the club to 9th in Sheffield United’s first season in the Premier League since 2006/07. Promotion to the Premier League came just two years after Wilder secured promotion from League 1.
Despite reports at the time of a breakdown in his relationship with the club’s owner, many fans believed Wilder’s sacking was unfair and the board are now turning back to their former man.