Sheffield United have been offered the opportunity to sign Stoke City’s Joe Allen this summer, according to the Sheffield Star.
The 31-year-old is currently on international duty with Wales for the European Championships and played the full 90 minutes against Switzerland, operating alongside the likes of Juventus star Aaron Ramsay and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.
With Stoke looking to rebuild their squad ahead of the 2021/22 Championship campaign, Allen is likely to be on Premier League wages having signed from Liverpool for £13m back in 2016, and Michael O’Neill may decide to sever his ties with the central midfielder to make room for several more players to come in.
The Potters have waved goodbye to Kevin Wimmer, Liam Lindsay and Jordan Cousins already this summer and the 31-year-old could be set to join that list, with Nottingham Forest striker Lyle Taylor reportedly attracting interest from O’Neill’s side after having a difficult time at the City Ground and could potentially move in the other direction.
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However, Allen is one player the Blades have yet to have been linked with but look like one of the only sides in the second tier who could afford the Welshman – and have indeed been identified by Stoke as a club who could realistically sign the midfielder.
One development that could accelerate this potential move is the likely departure of record signing Sander Berge this summer. Despite only signing for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side in January last year, the Norwegian midfielder is unlikely to hang around for a season in the Championship, especially with the likes of Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa reported to be interested in acquiring his services.
Despite this, any move for Allen is likely to come after the European Championships, with the risk of injuries occurring during the tournament.
Joe Allen has everything a Championship promotion-chasing side would wish for: experience in the Premier League, good performances at an international level, a playoff victory for Swansea City and more recently, a decent run of games back in the second tier.
However, if the Blades were given an option to sign Allen or keep Berge, Jokanovic would probably opt for the latter even with the Norwegian’s likely wage package. The 23-year-old has the quality to lead Sheffield United back to the top flight.
Keeping him is looking unlikely at this stage though – and Allen could be a good short-to-medium term signing to replace him. With Stoke reportedly offering the 31-year-old to United and other clubs, negotiators at Bramall Lane would have the task of ensuring they get value for money.
If they can get a bargain, great. If they can’t, they should let other Championship sides fight for him, especially with his recent injury record.