Sheffield United: Blades dealt blow in race for Swansea City's Oli McBurnie as offer is rejected

Sheffield United have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Oliver McBurnie, after Swansea reportedly rejected their bid for the striker’s services.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 18:03 pm
Updated Monday, 15th July 2019, 20:18 pm
Oli McBurnie - (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Sources close to the Liberty Stadium suggest that an offer, in the region of £15m, was dismissed by officials at the Liberty Stadium after United stepped up their approach for the Scottish international striker.

Swansea began the summer under some financial constraints, which eased when Dan James was sold to Manchester United. The Swans are now under less pressure to cash in on their prized assets, with the emphasis now on shifting their unwanted higher earners rather than the likes of McBurnie.

Whether United return with a follow-up bid remains to be seen. The Swans value McBurnie closer to £20m, but the player is open to the prospect of moving to United – who can offer both Premier League football, and a return to his native Yorkshire. The striker, who had a loan spell at Barnsley in 2017/18, was born in Leeds.

“Oli loves playing for the club, you can see that,” said Swans boss Steve Cooper.

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“He has a lot of friends, and I go back to the spirit, and he’s a big part of that. He’s a big character, a very likeable lad and he works very hard in training. He’s producing as well so I’m sure come August 3, he’ll be ready to deliver as he did last year.”

McBurnie scored 24 goals last season and, at 23, fits the profile identified by Blades boss Chris Wilder and his recruitment staff. Neal Maupay, of Brentford, has also been considered while Dean Henderson, of Manchester United, and Nottingham Forest’s Ben Osborn are confirmed targets.

United have made three signings already since confirming their return to the Premier League, breaking their transfer record twice in the space of a few weeks; first on Luke Freeman, from QPR, and then on Preston's Callum Robinson. Former England international Phil Jagielka also sealed an emotional homecoming to Bramall Lane, 12 years after signing for Everton.

United, who beat Real Betis 1-0 in Portugal last Friday evening, continue their top-flight preparations on Tuesday evening when they take on Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium.