Sheffield United close to making another transfer breakthrough on pre-season camp

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Blades closing in on second summer signing

Sheffield United are confident of wrapping up their second signing of the summer whilst on their pre-season tour of Portugal, after touching down yesterday. The Blades have returned to Cidade do Futebol after the success of last season’s camp there and will have at least one new face out there with them, with deals for left-back Yasser Larouci and forward Benie Traore progressing quickly.

United have already tied up the signing of Tunisian World Cup star Anis Slimane, with the former Brondby man hoping for a debut in Blades colours during Wednesday night’s friendly against Estoril after delays in his work permit scuppered plans for him to face Chesterfield on Saturday.

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And there is increasing confidence amongst the United camp that Slimane will be joined by at least one new face in Portugal. Larouci is a French U21 international wing-back previously of Liverpool, who is set to leave Troyes after their relegation to the French second tier.

*The Star’s coverage of Sheffield United’s pre-season trip to Portugal is brought to you in association with Vertical Editions, a Sheffield-based company producing fine sporting books. Check out their range of Blades titles, including Legends at the Lane, at

Traore is a converted winger who has set the Swedish first-division alight with his early-season form for Hacken, but has been left out of their last couple of games as a move to Bramall Lane edges ever closer. Both men perfectly fit United’s transfer profile - of young players commanding reasonable transfer fees, with room to improve and also retain sell-on value - and boss Paul Heckingbottom will be keen to have them tied up as soon as possible to get them acclimatised to life at United.

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The Blades touched down in Portugal on Sunday to start their camp, which will also feature an inter-squad friendly to accelerate preparations for the new Premier League season - which kicks off at Bramall Lane against Crystal Palace on August 12.

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