Blackburn Rovers would be willing to pay a transfer fee to bring Sheffield United attacker Oliver Burke to Ewood Park during this month, as per a report from The Star.
The Lancashire side are on the search for attacking reinforcements in their bid to sustain their push for Premier League football, currently sitting in second place, though Fulham have two games in hand over them and sit just one point behind Tony Mowbray’s men at this stage.
One man they have identified is forward Burke, who was linked with a move to Championship rivals Middlesbrough back in November following ex-boss Chris Wilder’s arrival at the club.
Quiz: Can you name which club Blackburn Rovers signed these 28 midfielders from?
Despite this interest from teams elsewhere, the Blade has been an outcast at Bramall Lane this term despite their relegation back to the second tier, making just three league appearances during the 2021/22 campaign thus far and not playing a single minute of competitive football for the South Yorkshire outfit since September.
With plenty of attacking options at manager Paul Heckingbottom’s disposal already, he has effectively been deemed surplus to requirements at United with the club not prepared to block a potential exit for the Scotland international if an acceptable offer arises.
But with his contract not expiring until 2023, Blackburn are thought to be willing to fork out a fee to lure him up to Lancashire according to the Sheffield Star, although a loan agreement is reported to be the most likely option at this stage.
This willingness to pay out a transfer fee is despite Rovers’ conservative spending policy during the summer, only bringing in four loan players despite generating £15m in revenue for former talisman Adam Armstrong’s services in the summer.
In fairness to Blackburn’s board, they did seem to spend hefty amounts on Sam Gallagher and Ben Brereton Diaz to bring them in, so the sale of Armstrong has probably gone a long way in balancing the books.
This is incredibly important, because the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules remain in place and if they break them, they may end up needing to abide by a strict business plan like Derby County and Reading will be forced to from next season.
With Rovers seemingly on the up, this is the last thing they need so ensuring they can strike the right balance between retaining some of their key assets and cashing on on certain players at the right time will be key.
It has recently emerged that the club’s owners are ruling out the departure of any of their most important players during the winter window, so funds to bring Burke in permanently may be limited at this stage.
However, a loan deal could still be on the table and with Rovers not yet exceeding their quota on temporary additions, this type of agreement for Burke would make sense as he’s played in a front two with Sheffield United.