Michael Brown believes Derby County may have struggled to offer Billy Sharp his desired contract terms had Sheffield United accepted a bid this month.

The former Blades star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the veteran striker would want a long-term deal if he is to leave Bramall Lane.

As revealed by Football Insider on Wednesday, the Blades knocked back an approach for the 34-year-old hitman from Derby, with Wayne Rooney on the hunt to add some proven Championship experience to his squad.

The Sheffield United hitman has been used primarily as a squad player by Chris Wilder this season, with just 10 appearances and three goals under his belt across all competitions.

Brown believes Sharp would want the security of a longer deal if he was to swap clubs and suggested the uncertainty at Derby would have led him to turn them down anyway.

Brown told Football Insider:Well he’s in and around the squad and I think everything has got to stack up, Derby County might not be in a position, as well, to offer several years of a contract.

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“So that’s the difficulty, it’s not just taking someone to play, it might be a case of a longer-term deal – we’ve seen the problems Derby County are in at the moment.

Let’s see where that ends up but there’s a long way to go this season for Billy Sharp.

“He’s getting a little bit older, your mobility – yes he’s brave and his finishing’s fantastic and you know that – so it’s where you get that, where do you get those, the amount of opportunities?”

In other news, Sheffield United had been preparing a bid for an electrifying attacker with 13 goals and assists this season.