Leeds vs Sheffield United: The derby begins in pre-season! TSS May 26, 2010 Leeds United 78 Comments With no actual news to report, the newspapers and football websites are (as always) resorting to rumours as to who Leeds United may be looking to sign. Here’s the latest bunch of rumours, links and nonsense. It would appear that Leeds United and Sheffield United are chasing the same players. Today’s first link is Paul Connoly of Derby County, who, alongside Billy Sharp is an alleged priority for both us and the Blades (with them hoping to extend Sharp’s deal). The Billy Sharp link comes as no real surprise. With Jermaine Beckford all but gone, Leeds are in need of a replacement who can fill the void and Sharp seems to tick all the boxes. It’s an ongoing rumour that’s persisted for two seasons now, but with Doncaster’s £600k bid being turned down, Leeds will have to dig deep. Sharp, who has been away on holiday, said the following; “I’ve not heard anything from Leeds. I’ve just got back from my holiday but I heard Donny’s offer was turned down. I’ll speak to Sheffield United and we’ll take it from there.” The prospect of us stealing Billy Sharp from under the Blades noses before the season even starts has my mouth watering. The 2010/11 fixture list throws up a few derbies, none of which will need much to spark them off, but the Sheffield one has the potential to be an epic grudge match. As well as the battle for Paul Connoly and Billy Sharp’s signature, Leeds have also been linked with another Sheffield United player, Neil Montgomery who is currently out of contract and could sign for us on a free (Ken Bates’ favourite price). There’s also the small matter of Sheffield United’s manager, who is none other than former Leeds boss, Kevin Blackwell. I can just see the look on his face now as Montgomery crosses from the wing to find Billy Sharp in an acre of space (Blackwell’s defence are running around like headless chickens), Sharp picks the ball up, dances around a bit and slams home to give Leeds a 1-0 lead in front of the Kop. In other news, Andy Hughes has secured an extension to his current contract, whilst Rob Hulse has been linked with a return to Elland Road. The latter would appear to be the papers clutching at straws for even the most thread-bare links, but even at 30-years old, I’d welcome him back.