Chris Wilder hasn’t ruled out the possibility of him trying to sign Cobblers players for his new club Sheffield United.
He insists he won’t be returning to ‘raid’ his former club, but stessed that ‘business is business’, and also hinted it won’t just be the Blades that will have their eye on Northampton’s star playing assets.
The former Cobblers boss quit Sixfields on Thursday to take over at Bramall Lane, and he is currently assessing his new group of players, who finished 11th in Sky Bet League One, before deciding where he needs to strengthen.
Wilder assembled the current Northampton squad, signing every player, and forged an excellent relationship with them as he guided the Cobblers to the Sky Bet League Two title.
He knows the players inside out, knows their strengths, knows their characters, and it is reasonable to assume he may well want to try and take one or two with him to his new club.
When that question was put to him, Wilder was non-committal.
It’s not a situation where I’ll come and raid, but business is business and we all understand thatSheffield United manager Chris Wilder
He did hint there could be members of the Cobblers squad he would be interested in, but also echoed Town chairman Kelvin Thomas’s comment earlier this week that the club is ‘well protected’ if other clubs, Sheffield United or otherwise, come calling for their players.
Aside from Danny Rose, Josh Lelan and Paul Corry, the entire Cobblers squad is under contract for next season at least, with several, including the likes of Dave Buchanan, Nicky Adams, Lawson D’Ath, Rod McDonald and Sam Hoskins, contracted for two more seasons.
That means anybody wanting to try and sign any of the Northampton squad will have to pay a fee.
Asked if he would consider trying to sign any of the players he managed at Sixfields, Wilder told the Chron: “I’ve not thought about it yet, but there are a lot of good players at Northampton.
“It’s not a situation where I’ll come and raid, but business is business and we all understand that.
“Northampton are well protected, all the players are well protected and the manager going in will have to up the squad in line with the budget.
“But there are a lot of outstanding players at the club, and I should imagine they are coveted not just by the club that I am at now, but other clubs too.
“I think that is just a fact of life really.”
The Cobblers meanwhile are continuing the process of trying to find a new manager to replace Wilder.
The bookies are still listing former Blackburn Rovers boss Gary Bowyer as favourite for the post, with other candidates including Port Vale manager Rob Page, former Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill and Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale.