Sheffield United: Stoke City prepared to battle Celtic for Blades ace after missing out on top target

Stoke City have emerged as rivals to Celtic in their pursuit of Sheffield United defender George Baldock, after seemingly missing out on their key defensive target.

Monday, 8th July 2019, 11:09 am
Updated Monday, 8th July 2019, 12:09 pm
(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Earlier in the summer, Celtic were rumoured to be highly interested in the Blades defender, following a series of stellar displays for his side in their 2018/19 promotion-winning campaign.

Fresh reports from the Sun now suggest that Stoke City are homing in on the former MK Dons man, after Bournemouth reportedly agreed a deal with Luton Town for their star full-back Jack Stacey – the Potters’ favoured option for a new right-back.

While there is bound to be interest in a player of Baldock's quality, the player claimed earlier this summer (in an interview with the Star) that he's looking forward to the challenge of playing Premier League football, and feels at home and settled in Sheffield.

Blades boss Chris Wilder is also unlikely to sanction the sale of one of his key players, as he looks to carry the positive momentum from last season in the club's first top tier campaign in over a decade.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

However, one could argue that a switch to Celtic still isn't out of the question, as the allure of Champions League football and heaving piles of silverware are a highly tempting proposition for any player.

Meanwhile, Brentford are believed to have dropped their asking price for their goal-machine striker Neal Maupay, which could see the Blades land their target for £15 million rather than the initial hefty fee of £22 million. United are expected to sign at least one forward this summer, and expected to press on with their summer player recruitment in the coming weeks.