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Club News

The beard returns

25 January 2015

Cult hero John Brayford is back - but this time he signs for United on a permanent deal.

The 27-year-old versatile defender, who impressed in a loan spell with the Blades last season, signs for an undisclosed fee and has agreed a three-and-a-half year deal.

The Blades have been patient in tracking him and securing his signature is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work by the Board of Directors and staff at Bramall Lane.

"We are absolutely thrilled he is coming back permanently, John has been at the top of our list for a long time and our patience has finally been rewarded," confirmed boss Nigel Clough. "There aren't very many loan players who galvanise a team and Club like John did last season, simply by his actions on the field.

"John has made no secret of his desire to return to Sheffield United and as a Club we have finally worn Cardiff City down and they accepted a bid. Russell Slade didn't want to lose John, he has been impressed with him since taking over at Cardiff, but he knew the situation and our admiration wasn't going to go away."

Co-Chairman Jim Phipps added: "Bringing John aboard is part of our plan to ensure that when the January transfer window closes, the first team is reinforced with the additional skill sets required to render our promotion campaign effective. We would point out that both John and other inbound assets this January are cup-tied. This is a signal that our first and foremost priority this season is promotion to the Championship.

"Together with our partner, Kevin McCabe, we have charged management to achieve this objective and instructed them to apply the investment funds to the realisation of this necessary goal. Having said that, I take this opportunity to express my personal thanks to Nigel Clough, his staff, our players and our fantastic supporters for getting us to this point in the cups."

Speaking specifically on the Brayford deal, Clough added: "We think it is money well spent. We lost a important defender in Harry Maguire and now in John we feel we have gone a long way to replacing him, he might be a full-back but we think he will be worth every penny.

"If you had asked our supporters which one realistic player they would want us to sign I am sure they would have all said John and his signing gives us other options within the squad too."

Brayford played 20 games, scoring two goals for the Blades on loan last season. He signs from Cardiff City and was previously with Derby County, Crewe Alexandra and Burton Albion.

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