Sheffield United Digest: Arsenal set to test Blades' resolve over Aaron Ramsdale; Why Celtic want George Baldock; Chris Wilder in frame for Fulham
Arsenal are expected to submit an official offer for Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale after this summer’s European Championships.
After identifying the 23-year-old as a potential successor to Bernd Leno, officials at the Emirates Stadium registered their interest in taking him to north London over the weekend - making contact with the intermediary The Star revealed has been granted the authority to represent them in the transfer market.
Although it will prove difficult for them to progress any deal while Ramsdale is away with Gareth Southgate’s squad, Mikel Arteta’s employers are understood to have told United’s ‘agent’ that they are likely to make an offer in writing once England’s involvement in the tournament ends.
Although that is likely to fall short of the £40m United insist Ramsdale is now worth - less than a year after re-signing him for £18.5m - one source with knowledge of Arsenal’s intentions has predicted it will be big enough to confirm they are serious about pushing a deal through. READ FULL STORY HERE
The Blades are back in town
Sheffield United’s players returned to their Shirecliffe training base today to be eased back into pre-season training ahead of the new Championship season, which kicks off in less than six weeks.
Those members of United’s squad not involved in this summer’s European Championships were gently put through their paces today, while John Fleck is amongst those who have been granted an extended period of leave to enjoy a break after their season was prolonged by the Euros.
The sight of United’s players back in work has provoked some excitement amongst supporters, as another big milestone in the countdown to the new campaign. Here’s some of the key things we noticed… READ FULL STORY HERE
Former Blade’s heartbreak after losing both parents - on same day
Former Sheffield United forward Febian Brandy has paid tribute to his parents after they both died on the same day.
The 32-year-old, who made 15 appearances for the Blades during the 2013/14 season, shared the heartbreaking news via social media on Monday.
He tweeted: “Never thought I’d be writing something like this! Losing 1 parent is bad but losing both parents on the same day is something I can’t get my head around.
"Both my parents passed on Saturday with my mum passing roughly 5 hours after my dad. Love you guys more than you know.” READ FULL STORY HERE
Wilder on bookies’ shortlist for Fulham
Chris Wilder, the former Sheffield United manager, could be set for an early return to Bramall Lane next season after being installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Scott Parker at Fulham.
Parker, the former England midfielder, is negotiating with the Cottagers over mutually terminating his contract and is expected to join AFC Bournemouth, another of the Blades’ promotion rivals.
And Wilder, who left United in March after leading them into the Premier League with two promotions in three seasons, tops the bookies’ odds to replace Parker as Fulham look to get back into the top flight at the first attempt. Both United and Fulham were relegated to the Championship last season. READ FULL STORY HERE
Like father, like son…
Sheffield United skipper Billy Sharp today shared a brilliant video of his eight-year-old son finding the top corner with a stunning long-range free-kick – and fans and teammates alike were queuing up to praise it.
Young Leo Sharp scored the stunner for his Brunsmeer Athletic U9 side in the LJS Cup on Sunday, on their way to the final of the competition set up by his dad and mum, Jade.
Leo sent his teammates, coaches and parents wild with the superb effort, with proud dad Billy later sending a clip of the free-kick to The Star. READ FULL STORY HERE
Why Celtic want George Baldock
It was two years ago, as Sheffield United were still busy celebrating their return to the Premier League, when Celtic first began to take notice of George Baldock’s potential.
An important member of what was then one of the most talked about teams in the country, the defender’s reputation within the game had already soared thanks to his membership of a rearguard so attack-minded it defied reason and logic.
But as they started the process of compiling the dossier which landed on new manager Ange Postecoglou’s desk last week, it was Baldock’s combination of tenacity and technique that captured the imagination of the then Scottish Premiership champions’ recruitment gurus.
After browsing through the contents and requesting further information within hours of taking charge, Baldock has clearly piqued Postecoglou’s interest too. As The Star revealed on Sunday, the former Australia and Yokohama Marinos chief’s employers are now contemplating submitting an official bid for the 28-year-old having added his name to their list of potential signings. READ FULL STORY HERE
Blades legend Billy hails success of latest LJS Cup
He is the captain of his boyhood club Sheffield United, a man whose goals in the red and white stripes he dreamed of wearing as a youngster have earned him a place in Bramall Lane folklore forever more.
But on Sunday, as he watched his eight-year-old son Leo in action in the No.10 shirt of Brunsmeer Athletic, Billy Sharp was just like any other father.
“It can be a little strange,” he smiled. “He scored an own goal in the first game but they won it, so it wasn’t so bad.
“I just want him to have a smile on his face. Young kids enjoying football, it’s amazing to see.” READ FULL STORY HERE
Why a piece of Blades history may be on pitch for England v Germany
If, as expected, Sheffield’s Kyle Walker is picked to face Germany in England’s European Championship last-16 clash at Wembley tomorrow, a little piece of Sheffield United history could be on the pitch with him.
The Manchester City full-back, now an England international and three-time Premier League winner, still wears the same shin-pads he was given by a fellow Blades defender when he was a youngster with the Blades. READ FULL STORY HERE