Anel Ahmedhodzic: This is what has delayed Sheffield United transfer move for defender

Sheffield United must wait for Malmo to extricate Anel Ahmedhodzic from the ‘loan to buy’ agreement they negotiated with crisis club Bordeaux before Paul Heckingbottom can press ahead with his attempt to sign the centre-half.

Thursday, 30th June 2022, 11:09 am

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Ahmedhodzic joined the six-time French champions on a temporary basis last term, with his switch to the Matmut Atlantique containing a clause allowing them to purchase him this summer.

However with Les Girondins being relegated from Ligue 1 and then demoted to the third tier because of their crippling debts, neither Ahmedhodzic nor Malmo have any interest in seeing that clause triggered.

Heckingbottom, the United manager, has told the 23-year-old and his representatives that he wants to bring him to Bramall Lane with a bid for the player already thought to have been provisionally accepted by the Swedes.

But Ahmedhodzic, who now represents Bosnia and Herzegovina at international level despite being born in Scania, is yet to indicate if he is interested in returning to England after turning professional with Nottingham Forest.

The situation has also been complicated by Bordeaux’s appeal against the decision to place them in Championnat National 1 - a move officials there described as “brutal” when it was confirmed by the French footballing watchdog.

Bordeaux's Swedish defender Anel Ahmedhodzic controls the ball during a French L1 football match between Girondins de Bordeaux and FC Lorient: ROMAIN PERROCHEAU/AFP via Getty Images

Heckingbottom had hoped to unveil at least one new arrival before United travel to Portugal for warm weather training and a friendly against Casa Pia next week. But with that now appearing increasingly unlikely - although not impossible - the former Barnsley, Leeds and Hibernian chief is poised to invite several members of United’s under-23’s programme to attend the camp.

Speaking earlier this month, Heckingbottom identified “six or seven” vacancies on their roster which need filling before the transfer window closes later this summer. They also include a new attacking midfielder following Morgan Gibbs-White’s return to Wolverhampton Wanderers and possibly a goalkeeper if Adam Davies declines the contract offer he has received from United.

Ahmedhodzic moved back to Malmo after making his senior debut for Forest during a Championship fixture against Newcastle. He also completed a short spell with Danish outfit Hobro IK before heading back to the Elada Stadion.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom with Jack Lester (centre) and Stuart McCall (left): Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Malmo's Swedish defender Anel Ahmedhodzic (L) is wanted by Sheffield United: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images