Last night, Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic revealed a loan-to-buy agreement for Sampdoria midfielder Ronaldo Vieira had collapsed after finding out he wouldn’t be available for some time.
The 23-year-old was previously said to have undergone a medical in South Yorkshire after arriving in England to quarantine – but after spending a considerable amount of time working on this agreement – they have now pulled the plug on the deal and are now looking at alternatives.
One thing is for certain: they need at least one or two central midfielders to come in before the transfer window shuts in less than two weeks.
Quiz: Have Sheffield United won or lost more against each of these 25 English teams?
John Lundstram’s departure in the summer has already left a hole in the Blades’ midfield – and they could even lose another man in the middle of the park before the end of August with Sander Berge’s future at Bramall Lane still up in the air.
Although Berge has been a regular under Jokanovic so far this season, their imminent sale of Aaron Ramsdale shows they are willing to come to the negotiating table if the price is right and as one of their most prized assets, the Norwegian could be on his way out shortly.
They need a central midfielder regardless of whether he stays or goes though – and because of this – we have decided to list three potential alternatives the Blades could target as we approach the final knockings of the summer window.
The 20-year-old midfielder has reportedly rejected a new contract at Manchester United recently and with little-to-no chance of forcing his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjear’s first team this season, he could be sold to generate as much revenue for him as they can.
On paper, Sheffield United are one of the favourites out of all of them to win promotion back to the Premier League, which could tempt Garner to make the move from United to South Yorkshire before the end of the window.
And after impressing out on loan at Watford and Forest last term, making a combined total of 40 Championship appearances during the 2020/21 campaign, he could be a reliable option for the Blades to utilise whether they recruit him permanently or on a loan deal.
Some people may believe this is an unrealistic option with O’Brien attracting intense interest from Premier League side Leeds United.
But with £24m set to come in for Aaron Ramsdale and the potential for Marcelo Bielsa’s move for the 22-year-old to collapse, who knows what could potentially happen in the next couple of weeks?
The newly-appointed Huddersfield Town vice-captain has been a key figure in the middle of the park for the Terriers over the last two campaigns, spending his entire playing career in Yorkshire after graduating through the club’s academy system and spending the 2018/19 season on loan at Bradford City.
Ex-Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor believes O’Brien wants a move to Leeds over fellow interested side Crystal Palace to remain in his home county – and another Yorkshire-based side in Jokanovic’s men could tempt him to arrive at Bramall Lane with their potential to return to the Premier League if everything clicks into place.
The Turkish international was impressive for West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League in the second half of the last campaign and could be available for a move this summer – but neither the Baggies nor a top-flight team have managed to secure a deal for him yet.
Yokuslu previously stated his desire for Premier League football earlier in the summer, but when linked with a move back to The Hawthorns, was reportedly open to the idea of playing in the Championship.
Like O’Brien, the Aaron Ramsdale sale could play a big part in bringing him to Bramall Lane, both in terms of the transfer fee it could take to secure an agreement and the wage package they may need to put together to lure him to Bramall Lane.
As a regular international for Turkey and a regular top-flight player during his loan spell at West Brom recently, he could be the type of player to help overturn the Blades’ fortunes, provide the physical presence needed in midfield to win their battles in the middle of the park and potentially guide them to the top tier in the next year or two.