How Sheffield United could exploit new transfer rule to beat Celtic, Rangers to hotshot striker

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Blades would face Glasgow competition for signing of hotshot striker

Sheffield United could be an early beneficiary of a new transfer rule if they follow up reported interest in a hotshot young striker who is lighting up the Swedish Allsvenskan this season.

Benie Traore, a converted winger, has 12 goals in 13 games so far this season to help Hacken up to third in the early Swedish top-flight table, just three points off leaders Malmo.

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That form has reportedly caught the eye of the Blades but also the two Glasgow giants, Celtic and Rangers - the latter who, according to journalist Alan Nixon, have seen a bid of just under £3m rejected by Hacken.

If United do follow up their early interest it seems likely they may have to pay £4-5m to tempt Hacken into doing business for the 20-year-old, who was called up to the Ivory Coast U23 side for the first time earlier this year. After a serious injury kept him sidelined for eight months early last year, he signed a new deal at Hacken last September as they lifted last year’s Allsvenskan title.

United have done business with Swedish sides before, signing Anel Ahmedhodzic from Malmo last season, and will likely know all about Traore’s scoring exploits this season. One previous stumbling block to any potential deal would have been Traore’s eligibility to work in England, with the forward currently not possessing enough points to fulfil the criteria for a work permit.

But United could benefit from a recent implementation of rules allowing Premier League and Championship clubs to sign up to four players who do not meet the criteria. Although a potential move to clubs the size of Celtic and Rangers would hold obvious appeal, United themselves could lean on their status as a member of the most-watched football league on the planet to sway any decision their way if they do follow up their interest in the youngster.

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As well as his goals, Traore has drawn praise for his assist record as well and in terms of the transfer profile set out by Prince Abdullah earlier this summer - good, young players who can improve and hold transfer value for the future - Traore certainly seems to fit the bill.

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