YORK-BORN Matthew Kilgallon received a belated 23rd birthday present when he moved from Leeds United to Sheffield United.

He has signed a three-and-half-year deal for an initial fee of £1.75million which could rise to £2m.

The transfer hit a temporary snag yesterday afternoon just hours after another Blades deal prevented Leeds boss Dennis Wise signing one of his targets.

The Blades were set to announce Kilgallon at a 2pm press conference yesterday but then called it off.

Sheffield had even confirmed on the club's website a significant signing' had been made.

However, shortly after 1.30pm the Premiership club were forced to concede they had jumped the gun, and the official announcement had been put on hold.

The Blades refused to confirm Leeds centre-back Kilgallon, who celebrated his 23rd birthday yesterday, was the player, citing "procedure" as the reason behind the delay for the "unnamed player."

That is despite Kilgallon's car, with distinctive personalised number plate, parked up at Bramall Lane in full view of the media who had gathered at the ground.

However, a few hours after the aborted announcement, the deal did go through.

Killa', who hails from Appleton Roebuck, has been carrying an ankle injury since limping off against Sunderland on Boxing Day.

Under-21 international Kilgallon became Neil Warnock's first signing of the transfer window, and third from Leeds following the club's promotion to the Premiership, joining striker Rob Hulse and goalkeeper Ian Bennett.

The defender, who was with York City's junior set-up when he was a pupil at Tadcaster Grammar School, has made 95 appearances for Leeds since his debut in a UEFA Cup tie against Hapoel Tel Aviv just over four years ago.

Leeds' precarious position in the Championship relegation zone seems to have cost them the chance of signing Paul Ifill.

The Sheffield United winger had long been tipped to link up once more with his former Millwall boss Wise, but instead joined Crystal Palace in a £750,000 move.

Even though Palace are in the bottom half of the Championship, Ifill gave as his reason the south London club's potential, adding: "I was talking to another club but my agent rang and told me Palace were interested and from then on it was pretty straightforward."

Having missed out on Ifill, Wise will now turn his attention to pacy Luton winger Dean Morgan or Celtic's Alan Thompson to bolster his attack.

But Thompson would be a third signing aged over 30 since the window opened and while few dispute Morgan's talent, there are question marks over his qualities as a battler.