Sheffield United close in on Liverpool's Rhian Brewster as Bramall Lane's transfer machine bursts back into life

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has admitted he plans to strengthen his attack before the start of the new Premier League season after talks aimed at signing Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster reached an advanced stage.

Friday, 28th August 2020, 8:24 am

After sanctioning Luke Freeman’s move to Nottingham Forest - the deal, which is set to be officially ratified shortly, could pave the way for Matty Cash to move in the opposite direction - Wilder told The Star at United’s training base in Scotland that he wants to bring “up to four” new faces to Bramall Lane before the end of the transfer window. Those, Wilder confirmed, are in addition to swoops for goalkeepers Aaron Ramsdale and Wes Foderingham, who have spent the past week with United in Edinburgh.

Although Wilder declined to mention Brewster by name, he said: “Yes, that’s an area (attack) we are looking at and where we’d like to do something. As I’m always going on about, what happens at both ends of the pitch is so important. That’s where games are decided in the end.

“We’ve got experience in there, with Billy (Sharp) and David McGoldrick. So Oli (McBurnie) and the others could probably do with a little more support. Especially as we’re a club that likes to move the strikers around a bit, game by game at times.”

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Aged 20, Brewster appears tailor-made to fill the vacancy Wilder has identified in United’s frontline for a young, hungry striker; particularly given the doubts United have about Lys Mousset’s consistency levels. Previously of Chelsea, Brewster’s form during pre-season has led to calls for Jurgen Klopp to keep him at Anfield as Liverpool prepare to begin the defence of their Premier League title. But the German, who has made no secret of his admiration for United’s pressing game, is understood to view South Yorkshire as the perfect place for the England under-21 international to develop his skills. Although United are prepared to try and buy Brewster, a loan is more likely given the player’s burgeoning reputation.

On a day of frantic activity behind the scenes back at Bramall Lane, Freeman was also granted permission to leave United’s temporary base on the outskirts of Edinburgh, where they are set to face Hearts in a behind closed doors friendly tomorrow. Negotiations are also continuing with West Bromwich Albion, which could see Oliver Burke and Callum Robinson swap places, although the latter took part in today’s sessions at Oriam; Scottish sport’s high performance training complex.

An approach has also been made for Reading’s John Swift, another of United’s long-standing targets.

Wilder has also acknowledged he hopes John Lundstram agrees to extend his contract with United, despite refusing to accept what has been described as a ‘take it or leave it’ offer tabled earlier this year.

Rhian Brewster of Liverpool could be heading for Sheffield United
Rhian Brewster of Liverpool could be heading for Sheffield United

Wilder admitted Lundstram has yet to be the subject of any concrete offers, after attracting interest from Rangers, Brighton and Hove Albion and West Ham. He is scheduled to become a free agent next summer.

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Luke Freeman appears destined to leave Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Sheffield United's manager Chris Wilder: PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images