Danny Wilson remains in philosophical mood about the chances of retaining the services of Lee Williamson and Kevin McDonald.
Both players, who produced several eye-catching displays last term, are currently free agents after seeing their contracts expire at the end of June and neither followed the example of Chris Porter by immediately committing their futures to the Blades.
Despite that, Wilson was encouraged when Williamson reported back to training on Monday, although he admits the midfielder's future remains up in the air:
"Lee has used his experience, if he remains here then great if not he will leave with some fitness under his belt. He is another we want to keep after a terrific season last year; we have done all we can to keep them (Williamson and McDonald), now it is down to the players themselves.
"We will accept they won't be signing for us when it is announced that they have moved elsewhere. We will keep looking and we are working on getting contingency plans in place. It won't be easy given the quality of Lee and Kevin but we will, as always, work hard behind the scenes."
On the other hand, the Blades boss admitted feeling 'disappointed' with Scotsman McDonald not show at the beginning of the week, but insists United are still very much in the hunt to re-sign a player Wilson feels is in need of a good pre-season campaign:
"There are no decisions from either of the lads yet, so I don't know if Kevin will sign. He didn't turn up for training on Monday when we expected him, but that is his prerogative.
"I would have liked Kevin here to keep his fitness up because if he does re-sign we want him at our level of fitness.
"Kevin not turning up disappointed me but it doesn't mean we don't want him to re-sign because we do. We have spoken to him and it is his prerogative to get the best deal he can for himself and his agent has been doing that all summer.
"At the moment, though, he remains a free agent and we are still in there, pitching very highly. He had a fantastic season last year and we got the best out of him, so I would have thought it would be a good decision for him to stay."
"Kevin needs his fitness to get the performances from him so that is why I expected him to return to training on Monday, but hopefully he will be here before the end of the week."
Meanwhile, the Gaffer also confirmed a couple of trialists have joined the Blades in pre-season training at Shirecliffe.