Sheffield United: Greek champions could step up interest in defender

Olympiacos could look to consolidate their interest in George Baldock, after the Sheffield United defender made his debut for Greece.

Saturday, 4th June 2022, 5:00 am

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The Star understands Pedro Martins’ side have been monitoring Baldock since he decided to switch his international allegiance, having identified the 29-year-old as a potential solution to their problems at right back.

And Martins will view Baldock as an even more viable option having seen him make his bow for the former European champions during Thursday’s Nations League tie against Northern Ireland.

A member of the United squad that won promotion to the Premier League in 2019, the defender has developed as one of Bramall Lane’s most influential players since arriving from MK Dons a season earlier.

Although Baldock is not believed to have any desire to leave, Paul Heckingbottom is expected to keep a close eye on his situation given that Jayden Bogle, United’s other option along the right flank, is currently recovering from injury. No guidance has yet been given on whether he will be available for selection at the beginning of the new season, with Rhian Brewster set to become the first of the Championship club’s long-term absentees to return to fitness.

Baldock, who made 27 appearances for United last term, could win his second cap when Gus Poyet’s team visit Kosovo tomorrow before hosting Cyprus on Thursday. They are scheduled to face the Kosovans again next weekend.

Greece's Anastasios Bakasetas celebrates with manager Gus Poyet after scoring their side's goal during the UEFA Nations League match at Windsor Park: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Olympiacos, who won their 47th Super League title last season, are owned by Evangelos Marinakis; the media magnate also responsible for running Nottingham Forest. They beat United on penalties in the play-off semi-finals, before going on to dispatch Huddersfield Town at Wembley.

Meanwhile, former United loanee Ben Davies is set to leave Liverpool this summer after being told he is surplus to requirements at Anfield. United are thought to have paid a £500,000 facility fee to borrow the centre-half, who had been on the verge of moving to South Yorkshire towards the end of Chris Wilder’s reign as manager.

United were set to pay Liverpool another £500,000 had Davies helped them regain promotion to the top-flight.

Despite seeing his spell overshadowed by injury, illness and personal issues, Davies still featured 22 times for United.

Sheffield United defender George Baldock has made his debut for Greece: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom with Ben Davies (right): Simon Bellis / Sportimage