As The Star reported last month, sources within the game believe Allen will be allowed to leave the bet365 Stadium as part of a financial restructuring exercise ahead of the new Championship season.
Relegated from the Premier League last term but expected to challenge for promotion under their new manager Slavisa Jokanovic, United’s name has been included on a list of clubs viewed as potential purchasers by some of those involved in the project.
O’Neill is determined to see the Wales international remain in Staffordshire, dismissing suggestions he could depart during an interview with the media earlier this week. But a number of people tasked with brokering deals during this summer’s transfer market remain convinced City are prepared to listen to offers for a player who impressed for his country during their march into the last 16 of the European Championships, where they were eventually beaten by Denmark.
Although it remains unclear if Jokanovic is prepared to sanction an offer for Allen, the centre of the pitch is a priority position with Sander Berge expected to follow John Lundstram through the exit door.
Lundstram declined a number of invitations to extend his contract before it expired yesterday, although Paul Heckingbottom cryptically suggested “anything could still happen” before relinquishing the caretaker role he accepted when Chris Wilder parted company with United in March.
Berge’s deal has another three years left to run. But with the Norwegian understood to be unenthused by the prospect of competing in the second tier, United are attempting to arrange his sale with Arsenal and Napoli among those monitoring his situation.
Allen, aged 31, is tied to City for another 12 months having completed a £13m switch from Liverpool in 2016. Having progressed through Swansea City’s youth system, he was a member of the squad which delivered top-flight football to the Liberty Stadium in 2011 and reached the finals of both the EFL Cup and Europa League during his time at Anfield.