Manager adds clarity to transfer claim over Everton defender's 'medical' at Sheffield United

Mason Holgate. Picture: Matt McNulty/Getty ImagesMason Holgate. Picture: Matt McNulty/Getty Images
Mason Holgate. Picture: Matt McNulty/Getty Images
Sheffield United linked with Everton transfer move amid reports of medical

Russell Martin, the Southampton manager, has poured scorn on suggestions that loanee Mason Holgate travelled for a medical at Sheffield United last week. The defender is on loan at the Saints from United's top-flight rivals Everton, but could be recalled this month amid a lack of regular game-time.

Holgate is a previous player of interest to the Blades, having been linked with United in the summer, and with the Blades searching for defensive cover in this window amid long-term injuries to John Egan and Chris Basham, his name has surfaced again. A PA report last week claimed that Holgate had travelled to United for a medical before the move broke down over the Toffees demanding a loan payment.

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But Martin, speaking to the Daily Echo on the south coast, confirmed that Holgate had reported for Saints duty at the time the medical news was reported. "No, he was training with us," he said. "Other than that, I don't know. He trained with us so that is all the clarity you need.

"If he got to the hotel with us and managed to find his way to Sheffield and back in time, he has done very well. No, he was here with us, he was in the squad. He is probably pretty annoyed he has not played as much as he has. But he is a great character, really good with the group, vocal in the right way, and has a lot of fun. There is a week or whatever there is left of silly season. We will see where he is after that." 

Holgate, 27, joined the Saints on a temporary deal in the summer but has played just six times for Russell Martin's promotion-chasers since. The United speculation comes amidst talk about the future of Blades skipper Anel Ahmedhodzic, with reigning Serie A champions Napoli understood to be interested. Another Goodison Park defender in Ben Godfrey, who moved to Goodison Park from Norwich in 2020 for a fee that could have reached £25m, has also been linked with the Blades ahead of February 1's transfer deadline.

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