Sheffield United: Collision course set with Nottingham Forest in the January transfer market
Sheffield United could be set for a transfer tug of war with Nottingham Forest, as Slavisa Jokanovic prepares to try and revitalise his squad during the January window.
With the Serb outlining plans to sign two wingers and a holding midfielder when the market reopens, United could be forced to trade in order to buy unless the necessary funds are placed at the manager’s disposal.
Steve Cooper, Jokanovic’s counterpart at the City Ground, will attempt to exploit that situation by making an offer to take Rhian Brewster on loan - hoping the relationship he struck-up with the former Liverpool centre-forward at Swansea City two seasons ago will persuade United to do business.
Although Jokanovic appeared to dismiss the prospect of allowing the 21-year-old to leave earlier this month - and, if he can build upon his goal at Blackburn Rovers last weekend, it would be a shock to see him depart - United might attempt to turn the tables on Forest by considering terminating Max Lowe’s stay in the east Midlands. The full-back has been a huge hit since completing a temporary transfer to the former European champions earlier this term, with some Forest fans calling for the deal to be made permanent.
Cooper refused to be drawn on his plans for Brewster and Lowe when questioned by The Star following draw with Forest earlier this month, saying: “The thing I am focused on is the players I have here. That and nothing else.
“I have get on great with all of the lads I’ve worked with before. And that includes ones that aren’t here now.”
Unlike when Luke Freeman made the same move last term, before returning to South Yorkshire following Jokanovic’s appointment in May, United did not permit their rivals to insert a ‘right to buy’ clause into the agreement which saw them acquire Lowe. However, despite being scheduled to rejoin United at the end of the campaign, United’s issues at the back could force them to consider recalling him early in the New Year.
After losing 3-1 at Ewood Park, Jokanovic’s team entered the international break 18th in the table and with a worse defensive record than all but four of the division’s 24 clubs.
Despite becoming the most expensive player in their history when he arrived for £23.5m from Liverpool 13 months ago, Brewster has netted only twice in United colours with his first effort coming during a Carabao Cup tie against Carlisle in August.
Before waving goodbye to Anfield, Brewster enjoyed a prolific spell under Cooper at City; hitting the target 1o times in only 20 league starts.
Lowe, aged 24, followed his former Derby County colleague Jayden Bogle to Bramall Lane two summers ago but quickly became frustrated at his lack of action under Jokanovic’s predecessor Chris Wilder.
Kacper Lopata, now on loan at Southend, is another potential option for United as they look to plug the holes in their rearguard although Jokanovic would be reluctant to pitch the Poland under-20 international into a struggling side given his lack of experience.