Sheffield United: Blades close in on another new signing

Ben Osborn is poised to become Sheffield United's fourth new signing of the transfer window after their negotiations with Nottingham Forest reached an advanced stage.

By James Shield
Sunday, 14 July, 2019, 14:24
Callum Robinson: Eoin Doyle/Sheffield Utd

Talks between the two clubs are understood to have progressed over the weekend, after Chris Wilder's squad returned from a pre-season training camp in Portugal where they beat Real Betis in a friendly.

Although officials acting on the United manager's behalf are scheduled to hold further discussions with their counterparts at Forest before Tuesday's visit to Burton Albion, sources in the East Midlands last night reported an agreement is expected to be finalised shortly.

Phil Jagielka: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Osborn, aged 24, has made over 200 first team appearances since moving to the City Ground in 2003. A former England youth international, he started his career with Forest's arch-rivals Derby County and was named their player of the season in 2018.

United have focused their efforts on acquiring the best talent in the Championship since being promoted to the Premier League last term, with former Preston North End forward Callum Robinson becoming Bramall Lane's record purchase before the victory over Betis. The Republic of Ireland international joined Luke Freeman, previously of Queens Park Rangers, at United when he left Deepdale on Friday. Brentford's Neal Maupay and Swansea City's Oli McBurnie are also admired by Wilder who recently captured Phil Jagielka following his departure from Everton. The centre-half spent 12 years at Goodison Park after progressing through United's youth system.

Explaining the thinking behind his decision to recruit Robinson, Wilder also provided an insight into why United have placed Osborn's name on their wanted list.

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"He (Robinson) fits the profile again," he said. "We're not killing anyone, that's the market we're in, players out of the Championship who want to prove a point in the Premier League."

Ben Osborn (right) in action for Nottingham Forest against his former club Derby County: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

"Look at Jags," Wilder added. "Everton took a gamble on him after he's done so well for us back then and he proved to be more than good enough didn't he."

Osborn, whose contract at Forest expires next summer, is thought to be attracted by the prospect of performing at the highest level after proving his credentials in the second tier.

United, who also want to bring Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson back to South Yorkshire on loan, will assess trialist Ravel Morrison before deciding whether or not to include him in their plans for the fixture at the Pirelli Stadium. Morrison missed the game against Betis due to a minor heel injury.