SHEFFIELD UNITED have released FOUR first-team players ahead of their return to the Premier League.
The Blades finished second in the Championship, ten points behind winners Burnley.
It secured them promotion back to the top-flight after two seasons away.
But they will come back to the Premier League with some familiar faces absent after a squad clearout.
Club legend and captain Billy Sharp – who scored 129 goals in red and white – departs after eight years in Sheffield.
Jack O’Connell, Enda Stevens and Kyron Gordon are also among those to go.
Despite the cuts, as revealed by SunSport the Blades are once again looking to sign Nottingham Forest outcast Lewis O’Brien.
United were keen on landing the midfield dynamo in January’s window but were unable to sign players due to a transfer embargo.
O’Brien, 24, currently on loan at Wayne Rooney’s DC United in the MLS, is likely to be surplus to requirements again when he returns to Forest in July.
They would consider a loan or permanent deal — with the only snag being whether to deal with a direct rival.
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Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom has a reduced transfer budget despite promotion back to the Prem.
Saudi owner Prince Abdullah is trying to bolster his kitty by getting additional financial backing from allies in the Middle East.
O’Brien signed for Nottingham Forest in a £10million transfer from Huddersfield last summer.
The midfielder made 15 appearances during his first five months at the City Ground before falling out of favour with Steve Cooper.