Ange Postecoglou, Slavisa Jokanovic’s counterpart at Parkhead, placed Baldock on a list of potential targets earlier this month after being presented with a dossier of players being tracked by his recruitment department.
The former Australia head coach’s decision to approve a possible move for Baldock is significant because, according to sources north of the border, he spent days poring over footage of those highlighted as possible acquisitions before making his own recommendations.
However, with Postecoglou’s employers unlikely to pay more than £8m for the 28-year-old, they have resisted the temptation to make contact with Bramall Lane’s board of directors. Instead, United have been warned they will keep a watching brief on any developments in South Yorkshire which might enable them to begin negotiating his valuation.
The tactic has become painfully familiar to the Championship club in recent months, with Napoli and Arsenal adopting a similar approach towards their pursuits of Sander Berge and Aaron Ramsdale
The north Londoners are expected to submit a bid for Ramsdale, the United goalkeeper, when he returns from England duty at the European Championships. But it will fall well short of the £40m United are demanding before they even consider allowing the youngster to leave. Ramsdale himself has shown no interest in agitating for a move either, after telling journalists before United’s relegation from the Premier League last season that he wants to “put down roots” after an already nomadic career encompassing spells with AFC Bournemouth, Chesterfield and AFC Wimbledon.
Baldock is also not looking to depart, having helped United gain promotion from the second tier following his arrival from MK Dons in 2017. However, Celic believe the opportunity to compete for trophies and play European football could tempt him to consider a move to Glasgow if they decide to lodge a bid.
John Lundstram, Baldock’s former team mate, cited those as reasons behind his decision to reject a new contract with United and join Rangers earlier this week.