Sheffield United: Harry Kane and Jack Grealish domino effect could help kickstart The Blades' summer recruitment
Sheffield United are prepared to wait until the end of the transfer window before strengthening Slavisa Jokanovic’s squad, after being told the transfer sagas involving Harry Kane and Jack Grealish have persuaded some Premier League clubs to delay making decisions on which of their players will be allowed to leave next term.
After being relegated from the Premier League last season, United’s recruitment this summer is expected to focus predominantly on the loan market as Bramall Lane’s hierarchy attempt to mitigate the financial costs of both returning to the Championship and also the Covid-19 pandemic.
Talks are understood to have taken place with several top-flight sides about the targets Jokanovic has identified since taking charge on July 1st. But with many managers and coaches at the highest level expecting Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa to spend heavily if Kane and Grealish complete their respective moves to Manchester City, they are reluctant to sanction any immediate departures in case Nuno Espirito Santo and Dean Smith subsequently make bids for any of their own star performers.
With little time to draft-in replacements, that could mean those currently likely to start the new campaign on the bench are suddenly handed more prominent roles.
Despite the impasse, United have still been active behind the scenes as they attempt to ensure they are in a position to strike quickly when the opportunity arises.
Conor Hourihane, Grealish’s colleague at Villa Park, Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott and Ronaldo Viera of Sampdoria are among those being linked with moves to South Yorkshire. Although Hourihane would not be a direct replacement for Grealish if he joins City, Smith, Jokanovic’s counterpart in the Midlands, could prefer to retain his services unless an alternative can be sourced.
Spurs, where Kane is another name on Pep Guardiola’s wanted list, are not thought to have held discussions with United over the past month. But if the striker’s proposed £150m sale to City goes through, Nuno could launch raids on teams who have.
Grealish is thought to be valued at around £100m by Villa, who are reportedly among a number of clubs monitoring Sander Berge’s position in South Yorkshire. Arsenal, Napoli, Lazio and Atalanta have also expressed an interest in the Norway international.