Sheffield United are expected to make a fourth approach for Fulham defender Dan Burn after the Championship club moved a step closer to signing Michael Madl from Sturm Graz.
Nigel Adkins has failed on three previous occasions to capture the centre-half with an undisclosed bid, described as a “six figure sum” by the United manager, understood to have been rejected by Craven Cottage’s board of directors last week.
But with the Football League imposing a transfer embargo on Slaviša Jokanovic’s side last month, the Serb could be forced to dispense with a player before Madl, a former Austria under-21 international, can be registered. The ruling only permits Fulham to add new names to their roster if they have 24 or less established professionals, aged 21 or older, on their books.
Adkins, speaking after last night’s 0-0 draw with Blackpool, refused to divulge his list of targets but said: “There’s been lots going on behind the scenes. Lots of conversations. Whether we can get what we want to do across the line, we’ll have to wait and see. But that’s our focus now and we want to be busy.” There’s a domino effect, you always see it,” Adkins added. “That’s what happens everywhere.”
Burn, reportedly one of the players Jokanovic could declare surplus to requirements should Madl arrive, was on the verge of joining United earlier this season before Fulham’s failure to identify a replacement stalled the deal.
A compromise agreement, which would have seen the 23-year-old head north on emergency loan, also collapsed when Fulham suffered an injury crisis at centre-half.
United hope the fact that Burn’s contract is scheduled to expire this summer will persuade the Londoners to sell before next week’s deadline for permanent signings although Adkins, whose team were without the injured Chris Basham and Matt Done at Bloomfield Road, has hinted he could also seek to pursue another temporary arrangement should that prove an impossibility.