Sheffield United Digest: How Arsenal's Sander Berge interest affects Conor Hourihane interest; Striker could get chance to revive Blades career
Sheffield United’s interest in Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane does not depend on Sander Berge moving to a new club this summer, after Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta put the Blades on notice in his pursuit of the Norwegian midfielder.
Although Berge’s future at the club remains in doubt, with Napoli, Arsenal and Atalanta all thought to be interested in acquiring his services, John Lundstram’s departure during the close season means a vacancy already exists within United’s engine room.
Hourihane, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Swansea City, features on a list of names Jokanovic has identified as potential replacements for the Liverpudlian.
Tom Cairney, who played under Jokanovic at Fulham, is another. But, as The Star reported earlier this month, the Londoners’ valuation means he is currently beyond Unitred’s reach. READ FULL STORY HERE
Former target’s first words after joining Blades’ Championship rivals
Dion Sanderson, the former Sheffield United target, says he “couldn’t wait” to join Birmingham City on loan after news of the Blues’ interest reached him.
Sanderson will spend the season with City – and probably feature against United on the opening day of the season – after agreeing a loan switch from parent club, Wolves.
The youngster emerged as a player of interest for United after his breakthrough season at Sunderland which was cut short through injury. READ FULL STORY HERE
Blades reach decision on pre-season games
Sheffield United’s pre-season friendlies against Doncaster Rovers and Norwich City will be unaffected by the recent Covid-19 outbreak within Slavisa Jokanovic’s squad.
Although officials at Bramall Lane have refused to elaborate on the exact details, two members of the group which recently travelled to Spain are thought to have returned positive test results upon their return.
But unless Rovers or City also report cases of the coronavirus during the intervening period, United are still planning to travel to the Keepmoat Stadium a week tomorrow before completing their preparations for the new campaign by hosting Daniel Farke’s side. READ FULL STORY HERE
Who is reported Blades target Tommy Doyle?
Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanović and his recruitment team are scouring the talent pools of Premier League clubs in an attempt to bolster his squad ahead of the new Championship season, and a young player from the champions of England has been mentioned as a possible loan signing.
Tommy Doyle, aged 19, is the captain of City’s U23 side and has already played for Pep Guardiola’s side in the Premier League and Champions League.
Reports in the north-west suggest as many as 10 Championship clubs are keen on signing him ahead of the new season, with United – short on midfield options, with Sander Berge being eyed up by other clubs and John Lundstram already departed – thought to be amongst them.
But who is Doyle, what’s his background and what sort of player is he? READ FULL STORY HERE
Arteta’s comments put Blades on red alert
Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, has placed Sheffield United on red alert after suggesting more new arrivals are imminent at the Emirates Stadium.
Speaking as his squad prepare to fly to Florida for a pre-season training camp, the Basque indicated he is confident of shortly making another breakthrough in the transfer market after unveiling defender Nuno Tavares.
Although their talks with Brighton and Hove Albion about a proposed £50m deal for Ben White are thought to have reached an advanced stage, the north Londoners are also monitoring United duo Sander Berge and Aaron Ramsdale. However they have made it clear they have no intention of meeting the asking price for either, with Ramsdale being valued at around £40m after being drafted into the England squad for this summer’s European Championships.
“We didn’t have any injuries, which is really positive,” said Arteta, whose side have just taken part in friendlies against Rangers and Hibernian. “We’re going to have some new faces arriving, probably, so very positive.” READ FULL STORY HERE
Fleck hails “great experience” of Euros despite Covid-19 “nightmare”
John Fleck the Sheffield United midfielder, says that his experience of the European Championships this summer was “great” despite his Covid-19 “nightmare” on the eve of the tournament.
Fleck didn’t get on the pitch for Scotland in their group games, including a draw against England at Wembley, after testing positive for coronavirus before the Euros began.
Because of that, and his extended season with the Euros, the midfielder was given permission to miss United’s pre-season trip to Spain to spend time with his family. READ FULL STORY HERE
Mousset could get chance to salvage Blades career
Lys Mousset could be granted one last opportunity to resurrect his career with Sheffield United, providing new manager Slavisa Jokanovic is satisfied he is committed to the club.
The French centre-forward appeared destined to leave Bramall Lane this summer, following a series of controversial incidents off the pitch and United’s relegation from the Premier League.
But Jokanovic’s appointment could prove to be a turning point for Mousset, with senior figures behind the scenes expecting the former Yugoslavia international to offer a clean slate in return for a more professional approach away from the game.
Despite frustrating Jokanovic’s predecessor Chris Wilder with his conduct during the past two seasons, it was significant that Mousset started United’s first friendly of the summer earlier this month. READ FULL STORY HERE
Fleck backs Lundstram to be a hit at Rangers
John Fleck has backed his former Sheffield United teammate John Lundstram to shine at Rangers, insisting his fellow midfielder has “all the attributes to succeed” at Ibrox after making the free-transfer move north of the border earlier this summer.
Lundstram was unveiled as a Rangers player after his contract at United officially expired, linking up with one of his boyhood heroes in Steven Gerrard as Rangers look to defend their Scottish Premier League crown they wrestled back from Celtic last season.
Lundstram has previously revealed the influence Fleck, a Rangers fan and former player, had in advising him to move north of the border, once it became apparent Lundstram would not extend his stay at Bramall Lane. READ FULL STORY HERE
EFL embargo hinders Derby’s hopes of signing ex-Blades men
Wayne Rooney, the Derby County manager, has warned that he risks starting the season without a senior centre-back as a transfer embargo continues to thwart any chance of signing two former Sheffield United defenders currently on trial at Pride Park.
Derby were hit by the embargo by the EFL amid ongoing financial issues at the Blades’ Championship rivals, with the league requiring fresh accounts be submitted next month.
Rooney has nine senior contracted professionals in his squad, and three former Blades were involved on trial at the weekend as Derby lost 2-1 to Rooney’s old club Manchester United.
Phil Jagielka, who left United this summer, started the game and played 60 minutes, while fellow ex-Blade Richard Stearman came on at half-time. Ravel Morrison also started before being taken off on the hour. READ FULL STORY HERE