Championship side Millwall have made a late move to sign Sheffield United winger Oliver Burke, according to The Sun’s Alan Nixon.
The 24-year-old has been on the fringes of the first team all season despite a change in manager, with the Scotland international failing to establish himself as a regular despite the Blades’ underwhelming form in the early stages of the campaign.
This was even with ex-boss Slavisa Jokanovic desperately needing wide men to make his 4-2-3-1 system work, with Burke being limited to just three league appearances this term.
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All of these displays came in the Blades’ opening three league matches of the season, and although he did come off the bench against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup earlier this month, his future continues to look bleak.
TEAMtalk revealed back in mid-November that Paul Heckingbottom’s side wouldn’t stand in his way if a sufficient offer was to come in for his services, with Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers two sides previously said to have been interested in his signature.
However, it’s Gary Rowett’s side that have most recently thrown their hat into the ring, with Sheyi Ojo out for the next couple of months and Jed Wallace’s future in the English capital looking uncertain.
It’s currently unclear whether Burke would come in as a replacement for Wallace, although a deal between the Lions and Nottingham Forest is yet to be struck for the 27-year-old despite the latter launching multiple bids in Steve Cooper’s quest to bring him to the City Ground.
Burke has endured an underwhelming time at Bramall Lane and this is a huge disappointment considering the potential he had – but this potential could make a deal and this possible gamble worthwhile if they can negotiate a cheap deal.
Considering he’s likely to be on a reasonably decent wage package too, this is a real possibility with United potentially willing to let go of him to bring a fresh face or two in during this month.
It doesn’t seem as though the Blades’ owners are willing to spend too much money this month despite only sticking to loans and recruiting free agent Adlene Guedioura in the summer, so the funds Paul Heckingbottom may have at his disposal could be solely based on who they cash in on.
However, the fact he may be on a big wage could be a barrier to this deal for the Lions who aren’t exactly known as big spenders – and the same applies with wages.
From a United point-of-view, as long as they get an offer that’s anywhere near their valuation, they need to accept it for the sake of their finances and the player’s career – because the 24-year-old deserves the chance to flourish elsewhere.