Sheffield United: Centre-half linked with Bramall Lane tells sister club he wants out

Stipe Radic, the Croatian centre-half who plays for Sheffield United’s sister club Beerschot, has informed officials there he wants to leave following their relegation from Belgium’s top-flight.

Saturday, 28th May 2022, 5:00 am

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As The Star reported earlier this year, Radic is destined to depart the Olympisch Stadion as part of a major reprofiling exercise after the Antwerp based side finished bottom of the Jupiler Pro League.

Polish team Lech Poznan are known to be admirers of the defender, who has also attracted interest from Germany’s Bundesliga.

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Beerschot's Stipe Radic has been linked before with Sheffield United: TOM GOYVAERTS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Although Beerschot blocked a move away midway through last season, they accept Radic is now set for the exit door. However, with HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud welcoming De Kielse Ratten into the United World (UW) fold four years ago, there is a possibility he could be offered the chance to link-up with Paul Heckingbottom’s team ahead of the new Championship season. Sources with knowledge of UW network, which oversees United owner Prince Abdullah’s portfolio of sporting interests, have suggested that encouraging Radic to continue his career at Bramall Lane would enable it to protect its investment in the former Hajduk Split youngster.

The priorities

Central defence is a priority position for Heckingbottom this summer, with Radic’s compatriot Filip Uremovic scheduled to rejoin Rubin Kazan following a brief stint in South Yorkshire and Ben Davies’ loan from Liverpool also expiring.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom with Filip Uremovic (c) and Ben Davies: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Despite acknowledging it could prove difficult to put together a financial package capable of tempting either player, unless Jurgen Klopp decides to cash in on the latter, United’s coaching staff are understood to be monitoring both of their situations closely should circumstances change.

Radic, who turns 22 next month, joined Beerschot from Hajduk after being recommended to them by an ex-Croatia international - thought to be Davor Suker, previously president of the country’s football federation.

He is contracted to the Belgians until the end of next term and, crucially, does not have a clause in his contract enabling him to leave on a free transfer in the event of their return to the second tier.

Sheffield United welcome Filip Uremovic to Bramall Lane

The valuation

Beerschot are believed to value Radic at around £3m euros, or £2.5m sterling, with his representatives acknowledging their client is ready to explore opportunities elsewhere.

Speaking to a newspaper in his homeland after being summoned into Hajduk’s senior squad, Radic revealed how he used to operate in attack before changing position.

“I was an attacker, got more and more games and got better, then the coach put me in midfield,” he said. “And in the end, I ended up as a stopper.”

Radic’s colleague at Beerschot, Ismaila Coulibaly, is on loan from United after joining them from Sarpsborg in 2020. He trained at the Randox Health Academy during a recent international break, with Heckingbottom admitting United must take a decision on whether to recall him in order to circumnavigate post-Brexit work permit legislation.

The Malian has yet to make a competitive appearance for his parent club but has accumulated 38 for Beerschot, where Scotland striker Lawrence Shankland is also on the books.

Capped four times by his country, Shankland has also represented Dundee United and Aberdeen.