Sheffield United eyeing transfer swoop for Brazilian midfielder ahead of Premier League season

Exclusive: Blades eyeing up Brazilian midfielder as squad reshape continues
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Sheffield United are eyeing up a transfer move for Brazilian midfielder Vinícius Souza ahead of the new Premier League season, The Star understands. The 24-year-old plays for Lommel in Belgium, one of the clubs under Manchester City’s global umbrella, and was at last week’s friendly between United and Girona at City’s training ground.

The Blades are said to hold a serious interest in Souza as they seek reinforcements to their squad ahead of August 12’s season opener against Crystal Palace at Bramall Lane. He spent last season on loan at Espanyol, making 37 appearances as they were relegated from La Liga.

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A defensive midfielder by trade, Souza has been linked with transfers to Celtic and United’s Premier League rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers in recent times. United have a good relationship with officials at the Etihad Stadium - who are at the head of the City Football Group and are understood to hold a majority share in Souza’s registration - which was only strengthened by the Blades’ handling of City loan pair Tommy Doyle and James McAtee last season.

Souza’s statistics certainly compare favourably last season, in a relegated side, with Doyle’s effort in a promotion cause. The Brazilian was slightly less effective in dribbling, owing to how he was utilised as a defensive midfielder, but won significantly more duels and kept possession better than Doyle, also drawing twice as many fouls.

Based on his number of minutes played last season, and La Liga’s standing as a league, Souza would importantly qualify automatically for a permit to play in England under the Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) visa points system introduced after Brexit. If they follow up their interest in Souza and secure a breakthrough, United will be keen to avoid any more visa delays after Benie Traore’s debut in United colours was delayed this summer.

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