Sheffield United: Blades braced for a battle if they press ahead with striker interest

Chris Basham battles with Oli McBurnie: Simon Bellis/SportimageChris Basham battles with Oli McBurnie: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Basham battles with Oli McBurnie: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Sheffield United are expected to face competition from Brighton and Hove Albion if they decide to consolidate their interest in Ollie McBurnie after it was suggested Graham Potter, the Scotland striker's former manager at Swansea City, wants to lure him to Brighton and Hove Albion.

McBurnie's name is understood to feature on the list of potential transfer targets United compiled earlier this month following their promotion to the Premier League.

As The Star revealed a fortnight ago, the 22-year-old boasts a number of admirers among the coaching staff at Bramall Lane, with the club understood to have first enquired about his availability last summer, after City were relegated to the Championship.

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Although officials in Wales blocked that approach, which was submitted before Potter's arrival at the Liberty Stadium, the former York City defender's appointment by Albion on Monday has prompted speculation McBurnie is now also being monitored by the Sussex outfit.

That is unlikely to deter United, who will hope their proximity to the player's home city of Leeds could tip the balance in Chris Wilder's favour if he elects to press ahead rather than pursue alternative options. But because McBurnie has worked with Potter before, scoring 24 goals for City last term, Albion are also likely to be confident of pushing through a deal should they enter the race for his services. Two of those efforts came against United, who finished in second, eight places and 25 points ahead of City.

Having also been linked with Middlesbrough's Britt Assombalonga and José Ignacio Peleteiro Ramallo of Birmingham City, United are hoping for a busy transfer window as they prepare for their first taste of top-flight football since 2007.

Like McBurnie, Brentford's Neal Maupay has impressed United with his performances at Griffin Park and also fits the profile Wilder likes to base his recruitment drives around. Also aged 22, the Frenchman can play in a variety of attacking positions and his career is on an upward trajectory.

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Potter, who spent less than a year at City after arriving from Östersund, side-stepped questions about McBurnie when he was unveiled by Albion.Despite being handed the title of head coach, Potter has been assured he will have the final say on new signings by Albion's technical director Dan Ashworth.