The Blades are likely to explore the loan market, with a number of Premier League defenders potentially available on temporary deals until the end of the season.
Manager Paul Heckingbottom is aware his club may need to explore the loan market as they look to manage their finances as best they can.
“We have to respect that. Our job is to work within budget,” Heckingbottom said ahead of Saturday’s game against Peterborough.
“You push for it and wonder, but at the end of the day the finances are what they are.”
He added: “Every team is chasing the Premier League and I don’t think you can sacrifice club security to pursue this.”
With the Blades keen on signing a centre-back, we’ve taken a look at five Premier League centre-backs who could bolster the Blades’ defensive options for the rest of the season.
The Liverpool centre-back has been recalled from his loan spell at Swansea City after making just seven appearances for the Welsh club in the first half of the season.
He has previously been linked with a move to Bramall Lane as he is way down the pecking order at Anfield. He played regularly for Liverpool last season due to a number of injury problems at the heart of Jurgen Klopp’s side defence.
His move to Swansea last year suggests the Reds are ready to send Williams out on loan. He made 22 appearances for Liverpool last season, including six in the Champions League.
The 24-year-old has proven he can produce in the Premier League and is another Liverpool player linked with Sheffield United this month.
Considering the number of defensive injuries in Klopp’s side last season, Phillips made 20 appearances last term and helped the Reds finish third in the table and qualify for the Champions League.
He is the fifth-choice centre-back this season and has made just three appearances in all competitions. His performances last season were rewarded with a new four-year contract at Anfield, but it looks like his future could be far away on Merseyside, with a short-term loan giving him the chance to show off his talents.
The 29-year-old defender became a forgotten man at Old Trafford but made his return to the side earlier this month as the Red Devils suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Wolves.
Jones has made more than 150 appearances for Man United and although he is well down the pecking order at Old Trafford, a loan could give him the playing time he needs, with the defender’s contract due to expire in the summer 2023.
The defensive midfielder, who can also be deployed in central defence, has made just four senior appearances for Crystal Palace this season. One of them was a two-minute FA Cup appearance against Millwall.
The Dutchman made 33 appearances for Palace in the top flight last season. His quality and versatility would benefit the Blades while a loan deal could benefit all parties as Riedewald can get more playing time, United can bring in an experienced Premier League player and Palace can keep the Dutchman on their books if he can find his form at Bramall Lane.
Injuries have limited Boly’s playing time at Wolves this season. He is currently out with a calf problem but reports suggest he will be fit again early next month.
Given his injury struggles and his place in the pecking order at Molineux, this is another potential deal that would benefit all parties. A loan move to Bramall Lane could help Boly regain his fitness while the Blades can bring in a defender who has played 79 times in the Premier League, keeping 25 clean sheets.