This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
According to BBC Sport, Swansea have rejected a bid from Sheffield United for Oli McBurnie as they look to hold onto their key man.
The bid from The Blades is believed to be worth £15m, a significant fee for a player with only one full Championship season under his belt.
However, he was crucial to the Swans last season and finished top scorer with 24 goals in 44 games in all competitions, and after losing another key attacker in Dan James earlier this summer they will be keen to ensure another doesn’t depart.
His importance to the team explains Swansea’s hefty asking price of more than £20m, and considering he is just 23-years-old it is not unreasonable to expect that his transfer value could increase a lot more in the future.
Added to that, the interest in McBurnie is coming from a Premier League club. Swansea will be aware of their greater financial power and can use that to their advantage.
With Swansea digging their heels in it seems unlikely they will budge from their valuation of £20m, but can they really expect to get that much? Our writers discuss the possible deal.
“I can’t see them getting any more than £20m for a player that isn’t proven in the Premier League.
“I’m surprised that Swansea chose to reject the sizeable bid from Sheffield United, as they’d certainly be able to find a suitable replacement for him with that sort of money.
“McBurnie has shown that he can score goals at this level, and will surely be tempted to force through a move to the newly-promoted side before the new season gets underway.
“I feel as though Swansea are fighting a losing battle here, and should look to cash in on the Scot as soon as possible, as his value could decrease if he voices his intentions to leave the club in this transfer window.”
“I don’t think they’ll get much more than that for him to be honest, especially not from Sheffield United.
“The Blades are thought to be operating on one of if not the smallest transfer budget in the Premier League next season, and even a £15million fee for McBurnie is likely to take a huge chunk out of what they have available, potentially affecting their potential spending on other areas of the squad.
“With Sheffield United already looking at other names in the attacking areas – Brentford’s Neal Maupay among them – it isn’t as if McBurnie is the only option available to them right now, so you wouldn’t be all that surprised if they now started to look elsewhere for a new goalscorer.
“When you compare that fee to others being discussed for the top Championship players, you feel £15million for McBurnie would have probably been a fair deal, and I can’t see them getting a much higher offer for the striker.
“That being said, with two years remaining on his contract at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea are currently in a reasonably strong position when it comes to negotiating for McBurnie, and that coupled with their asking price means you could see him still being at the club next season.”
“I could see the Blades stretching to £20 million for McBurnie if they are really keen on him but I can’t see them going further due to his lack of experience.
“Swansea are in a really strong bargaining position in terms of the fee as it seems they really don’t want to sell the striker.
“If Chris Wilder is really keen, which it seems he may be, he may need to make an offer than the Welsh club would find very difficult to turn down.
“McBurnie was excellent for the Swans last season, but he is relatively untested at Premier League level and has only really had two years of senior football under his belt.”