Chris Wilder has been accused of wrecking Sheffield United’s chances of signing Rhian Brewster on loan from Liverpool by speaking about him during the transfer talks.
United paid a club record £23.5million to sign Brewster in October and the England Under-21 striker has failed to score a single goal.
Blades owner Prince Abdullah claims he and chief executive Stephen Bettis wanted to persuade Liverpool to agree to a loan with a view to a permanent transfer this summer if they had stayed up.
The Saudi prince says Wilder undermined their position by speaking publicly about how much he liked Brewster and by refusing to consider any alternatives.
Prince Abdullah claims Wilder was just as intransigent over Aaron Ramsdale’s £18.5million signing from Bournemouth and would not consider any other goalkeeping targets.
“We have invested a lot in the club, but we don’t have unlimited resources, so if we invest £120million, you better get £120million value,” he said.
“I told Chris I will not accept in the future, say that you want Ramsdale, to come to me with one option, only Ramsdale because that put us in a weak position.
“The other club will know you only have one option.
“It also didn’t help that with Brewster that Chris talked about him before we even signed him.
“I thought and Stephen thought we maybe could have got him on loan and if we had stayed in the Premier League, we would be obliged to buy him.
“I wanted him to give me four or five targets and give me room to negotiate with the other clubs and room to bring in any of the five. I needed recruitment to change, and for Chris to be more open minded.
“When it comes to recruitment it can’t be my way or the highway every time, only this player or nobody else. We need to have more options then it puts us in a better negotiating position.”
Wilder is understood to have felt undermined when the club did not sign anyone in January to help their relegation fight and Prince Abdullah claims the former Blades boss was to blame.
Wilder tried to quit a second time at the start of January and Prince Abdullah felt it was hard to sign players when he was unsure if his manager would continue.
“There are three reasons why we didn’t make any signings,” he told Sky Sports. “Number one, I think Chris resigned on the second or third of January so how could I spent £2million-£3million extra when I’m not sure the coach will be here in three or four weeks?
“Two, we played six games and we got one point out of 18. So I had to think do we really have a good chance of staying in the Premier League because any money you spend now, it’s gone if you get relegated.
“Thirdly, we were talking about forward players, but when Sander Berge got injured, Chris changed the players he wanted central midfielders, defensive midfielders and I thought we have enough of those players.”