How Sheffield United's move for Wigan Athletic and USA defender Antonee Robinson is developing
Talks between Sheffield United and Wigan Athletic about Antonee Robinson’s proposed move to Bramall Lane have reached an advanced stage, after Chris Wilder added the defender’s name to his wanted list.
Although United are confident of pushing through a deal for the 23-year-old, who was poised to join Milan earlier this year before the move unexpectedly collapsed, they accept it could take some time to apply the finishing touches to the transfer because the Lancashire club are being run by administrators. Their first priority is to find new owners, following a controversial episode involving the previous regime towards the end of last season, which will be the subject of a report by an independent investigation panel later this week.
Robinson has recently spoken of his shock at the events which saw Wigan relegated from the Championship, insisting the players had no inkling the Next Leader Fund - a Hong Kong based company - was about to take the step. Lisa Nandy, the local MP, described it as a “global scandal” amid speculation about NLF’s motives.
Robinson, who started his career with Everton before joining Wigan last year, was born in Milton Keynes but represents the United States at international level having qualified by virtue of his American father.
United hope to unveil the youngster shortly, with sources in the North-West reporting they agreed a fee over the weekend. Barring any unforeseen hitches, Robinson could complete his switch shortly. However, Wilder understands Wigan’s most pressing concern is to push through the sale of the club after it emerged a consortium from the US has now expressed an interest in acquiring the 2013 FA Cup winners.
Seven months ago, Robinson was on the verge of joining Milan after the Italian giants agreed to pay an initial £6m to acquire his services. But they withdrew from the process when it became clear Robinson’s medical would not be completed before the deadline.
The condition which complicated the examination, performed by Milanese doctors, is not expected to cause an issue for United because of the timescales involved.
Robinson also represented Bolton Wanderers on loan before leaving Goodison Park.