Sheffield United are told when the race for Stoke City's Euro 2020 midfielder will begin in earnest
Sheffield United have been told Stoke City will fire the starting pistol in the race for Joe Allen’s services when Wales’ involvement in Euro 2020 ends.
The midfielder, who is expected to make his second appearance at the tournament tomorrow when Robert Page’s side meet Turkey in Azerbaijan, is among a number of high-earners set to leave the bet365 Stadium this summer as part of a restructuring exercise.
Although City are unlikely to publicly make Allen available for transfer, officials in Staffordshire have identified a number of potential buyers for the 31-year-old as they look to overhaul their finances ahead of the forthcoming season.
Allen’s employers are preparing for their fourth straight season in the Championship after being relegated in 2018.
Having initially continued to pump huge sums into their squad, City’s hierarchy took the decision 12 months ago to rein-back on expenditure. That process is set to continue this summer, with losses accrued because of the Covid-19 pandemic strengthening their resolve to make cuts.
As one of City’s highest profile players, Allen has privately been told he can move on with United featuring on a list of clubs set to be invited to submit bids over the coming weeks.
It remains unclear if their new manager, former Watford and Fulham chief Slavisa Jokanovic, is interested in accepting that offer. But the Serb, who will officially take charge when his contract with Al-Gharafa expires at the end of the month, has made midfield a priority position.
John Lundstram has already waved goodbye to Bramall Lane following the expiry of his deal, while Sander Berge is also expected to depart following United’s demotion from the Premier League.
Although those tasked with finding a new home for Allen have agreed not to force the issue for the time being, they are expected to become much more active when Wales return from the tournament.
United’s Rhys Norrington-Davies is also on duty with Robert Page’s side and hopes to win his latest camp against the Turks, who were beaten by Italy in their opening encounter. Norrington-Davies was an unused substitute during Wales’ draw with Switzerland.