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Blackwell’s budget summer spending

Kevin Blackwell knows his failure to lead Sheffield United to promotion will impact upon his transfer budget – but could be buoyed by news that two of his former targets have been handed free transfers by their respective clubs.

Blackwell, who is also bracing himself for a flurry of summer bids for his star names including Matthew Kilgallon and Kyle Naughton, is preparing to rebuild his squad without the aid of a Premier League parachute payment after four loanees, Greg Halford; Arturo Lupoli; John-Joe O’Toole and Craig Beattie, returned to their clubs.

Football - Norwich City v Sheffield United Coca

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Matt Kilgallon in action against Norwich
– and former team-mate Arturo Lupoli

The former Leeds and Luton manager is understood to have been assured funds will still be available to bring in the “eight or nine new players” that he is targeting, but could be tempted to resurrect his interest in goalkeeper Dean Brill, who he managed at cash-strapped Luton, and midfielder Lee Croft, who was released from Norwich City after their relegation to League One.

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