SHEFFIELD United are continuing to negotiate with a Serie A club aimed at playing a prestigious friendly in Malta next month.
Danny Wilson’s squad, who are preparing for their latest trip to the Mediterranean, have previously organised games against local opposition whenever staying on the island.
But, in a marked departure, officials at Bramall Lane hope to organise a meeting with the as yet unnamed club midway through their week-long stay.
Although United boast strong links with Malta - they brokered a pioneering agreement with its tourism authority in 2008 and are still sponsored by one of Sliema’s leading hotels - fixtures with the likes of Hibernians, Floriana and Vittoriosa Stars have enjoyed only limited coverage back home in England.
However, given the Italian game’s huge popularity on the island, arranging a match against a Serie A outfit could reap significant rewards both in business and sporting terms.
Talks could be complicated by the fact Italy’s leading teams traditionally enter ritiro - a behind-closed-doors training camp - as part of their preparations for a new campaign.