Harper leads Blades exodus
Midfielder heads Bramall Lane clear-out
Last Updated: May 17, 2010 5:00pm
Harper: United exit
Sheffield United have released nine players, including midfielder James Harper.
The former Reading midfielder has become the highest-profile name to be shown the door by Kevin Blackwell as he prepares to freshen up his side for their promotion tilt next season.
Harper, once an Arsenal youth player, made 33 appearances for the eighth-placed Blades after completing a permanent move to Bramall Lane midway through the season.
Eight other players have been given the chop by Blackwell - Glen Little, Henri Camara, Jonathon Fortune, Derek Geary, Justin Haber, Ian Bennett and reserve duo Liban Abdi and Sam Wedgbury.
The United boss told the club's official website: "I would like to thank all of them for what they have given Sheffield United and hope they soon find clubs.
"It is always sad to see long-serving players leave, particularly those who have served us well, but we are rebuilding a squad that we hope will equip us for a promotion challenge and this will give us some leeway towards bringing others in."
Nick Montgomery and Gary Naysmith could still feature in the former Leeds and Luton boss' plans for next term with the club revealing both players are in negotiations over new deals at the South Yorkshire club.