Sheffield United Digest: Latest on Arsenal pursuit Aaron Ramsdale and Sander Berge | Interest in Tom Cairney | Pre-season plans | Transfer news from Nottingham Forest, Derby County and West Brom

Premier League side Arsenal have been admirers of Sheffield United’s Sander Berge for some time now – and may decide to test United’s resolve for the Norwegian’s teammate Aaron Ramsdale this summer, too.
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The Londoners have been linked with a double swoop for Berge and Ramsdale, although the mentioned £20m fee for the England goalkeeper is half of what he is valued at by the Bramall Lane hierarchy.

United have told Arsenal they will reject a £20m bid for Ramsdale as talks about Berge’s proposed move to the Emirates Stadium continue behind the scenes.

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United’s £35m valuation of Berge has frustrated their counterparts in the capital, who have so far shown little inclination to meet that demand.

And with Arsenal also now said to be showing interest in Ramsdale, the two clubs are set to find themselves at loggerheads again with Mikel Arteta’s side said to be preparing to offer £20m in exchange for the goalkeeper.

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Sheffield United set for a transfer battle with Premier League giants

Brayford looks back fondly on Blades spell

John Brayford is a man who, wherever his football career has taken him, tries his best to fully immerse himself in the culture of a club. But his time at Sheffield United he says, will not be topped.

England's goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale stops a ball during his team's training session on the eve of the UEFA EURO 2020 Group D football match between England and Scotland. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)England's goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale stops a ball during his team's training session on the eve of the UEFA EURO 2020 Group D football match between England and Scotland. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)
England's goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale stops a ball during his team's training session on the eve of the UEFA EURO 2020 Group D football match between England and Scotland. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

“Because of the whole. I loved my time at Derby and I have loved it at every club I have played at,” he said. “But there was a connection with the place. Sheffield has two huge football clubs and as a whole, with my life, I would choose Sheffield United for sure. Full Story

Blades adopt diplomatic stance over Cairney

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Sheffield United will not attempt to force through a deal for Fulham’s Tom Cairney, despite the fact that both the player and their new manager Slavisa Jokanovic would welcome the prospect of working together again.

Despite Jokanovic’s decision not to make sweeping changes to the squad he is set to inherit at the beginning of next month, telling Bramall Lane’s board of directors he suspects only minor adjustments are required in order to challenge for promotion next term, United have inevitably been linked with Cairney since confirming the Serb will take charge on July 1. Full Story

Blades encouraged to take this pre-season step

Sheffield United have been encouraged to base themselves in the UK during pre-season, in order to prevent their preparations being disrupted by Covid-19.

After being forced to cancel a training camp in Evian-les-Bains because of the pandemic last summer, then manager Chris Wilder took his squad to Scotland instead where they played matches against both Heart of Midlothian and their namesakes from Dundee.

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Although he did not say so publicly at the time, privately Wilder felt that being forced to tear-up a schedule which had been meticulously planned for months contributed to United’s poor start to the campaign and eventual relegation from the Premier League. Full Story

There's a lesson in the Aaron Ramsdale story for us all

Six months ago he was crap. And that’s putting it politely, writes James Shield in his latest Blades column.

There was no shortage of folk, after watching his early season performances, happy to use much more colourful language to describe Aaron Ramsdale’s capabilities as a goalkeeper.

Now, after being drafted into the England squad for the European Championships, Sheffield United’s reigning player of the year is the toast of the Steel City. Well, the red and white half anyway. Full Story

Teammates go head to head as old enemies face off

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They might only be cast in supporting roles rather than being thrust centre stage but Aaron Ramsdale and John Fleck, two of Sheffield United’s three representatives at this summer’s European Championships, are still preparing to take part in one of the most eagerly anticipated episodes of the entire tournament.

England versus Scotland in a pivotal group encounter, at Wembley Stadium.

Ramsdale, summoned into the England squad following an injury to Dean Henderson, is set to watch the action from the bench after receiving an unexpected call-up from Gareth Southgate. Fleck, his team mate at Bramall Lane, is also expected to feature among the substitutes - albeit for Scotland - having recovered from Covid-19.

Blades’ sliding doors moment, a year on

For months after the first coronavirus lockdown hit the UK, fans, players and media alike counted down the hours until football was given the green light to resume.

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It took just 42 minutes of the restart for Sheffield United fans, players and media to feel rightly aggrieved when a remarkable failure of the supposedly-infallible Hawkeye technology cost them dearly in the first game back at Aston Villa.

The game’s flashpoint arrived when Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland caught Ollie Norwood’s cross and somehow stumbled over his own goalline, colliding with the post as he did so.

How tempting it is to wonder how different things could have been, but for that ‘occlusion’ of the Hawkeye technology. Full Story

The latest from around the Championship…

Jack Marriott, the Derby County striker, is on the verge of leaving Pride Park after failing to agree a new deal, with League One champions Hull City offering him a deal.

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West Brom, Blackburn Rovers, Bristol City and Nottingham Forest have all been credited with an interest in Blackpool’s former Rotherham United striker Jerry Yates.

Blackburn may look to exploit their relationship with Liverpool to sign youngster Leighton Clarkson on loan, after Harvey Elliott’s temporary move proved a success last campaign.

Barnsley remain in discussions with Romal Palmer and Victor Adeboyejo regarding new contracts, with the situation ‘heading in the right direction’ after the Reds shocked the Championship by qualifying for the play-offs last season.

Former goalkeeper Paddy Kenny says Joe Allen would be a good signing for Sheffield United after The Star revealed that the Stoke City midfielder will be offered to the Blades this summer. “If someone like him becomes available, I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to look at it and add him to the squad,” he told Football Insider. “He might be the sort of player they need, something completely different to what they’ve got at the moment.”

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