Rothwell, who will leave Ewood Park this summer after the expiry of his contract, was a player of interest to the Blades’ recruitment team, with the 27-year-old also reportedly chased by clubs including Fulham and Rangers.
Rothwell looked set to join Nottingham Forest after their promotion to the top flight – after beating United and then Huddersfield Town in the play-offs – but is now reportedly close to agreeing a switch to Bournemouth, after their automatic promotion from the Championship last season.
Although Rothwell was of interest to United, it’s understood that there was an acceptance that the Blades were always behind the eight-ball in the battle for his signing once top-flight clubs, able to offer Premier League football and probably better salary offers as a result, entered the race.
Stephen Bettis, United’s chief executive, revealed recently that United have made a permanent bid for a player and were in talks with a free agent. Another player of interest, Jake Clarke-Salter, is set to sign for Queens Park Rangers after leaving Chelsea this summer.
He spent last season on loan at Coventry City, coming up against the Blades, and was discussed as a good option for left centre-half, an area United are now light in following Ben Davies’ return to Liverpool and amid Jack O’Connell’s continued fitness battle.
Clarke-Salter knows new QPR boss Michael Beale from their time together working at Stamford Bridge, with Beale a former Chelsea youth coach.