‘It will be us and Norwich in terms of the transfer market’ - Blades’ chief Wilder issues Premier League reality check
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Spiky rivals in the Championship but Sheffield United and Norwich City occupy a select club in the Premier League.
The Blades finished runners-up to Daniel Farke's Canaries last season, although Chris Wilder carried off a number of managerial awards, and the boyhood United fan insists the duo face the same issues bridging the divide in the transfer market.
City have brought in Josip Drmic on a free transfer and Patrick Roberts on a season-long loan from Manchester City, but Wilder is yet to bolster his squad for the top-flight return. The Canaries' sporting director, Stuart Webber, has made it clear there will be no lavish outlay, and Wilder concurs the newly-promoted Championship pair operate on a different financial level.
"We cannot compete and people will go, 'Oh, he is saying that again,' I think it will be us and Norwich in terms of the market we are (in)," he said.
"Aston Villa is in a different market to us and you have to accept that and look at the teams who have established themselves in the Premier League after coming up in recent years.
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"The Burnley's, Bournemouth's and Brighton's have been in the Premier League two, three or four years and obviously the riches that have been brought to those clubs make them in a lot stronger position.
"That has got to be our ambition, to be in that position.
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"Then you go above that. I think Villa will go on. Do they do what Wolves have done? I don't know, but Wolves were a different one as well.
"They were set for the Premier League, when Nuno (Espirito) Santo took over in the Championship."
Both City and United have been touted with the likes of Neal Maupay and Ben Gibson among others during an endless summer of speculation.
"We have identified players and a little bit of a strategy and thinking of who we want," Wilder told the Yorkshire Post. "We want players of a certain age with a hunger and desire to go and compete and prove themselves.
"There have been a lot of names bandied about, but we are hopeful now.
"A lot of people have been away and taking holidays and we have been getting international dialling tones whether it is players, agents or managers or whatever. But now everybody is back and I think in the next week or two everything will kick on."