Sheffield United: How Oli Burke's potential departure would affect boss's budget with Millwall keen

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Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, is likely to see increased financial resources placed at his disposal this summer if striker Oli Burke completes his move to Championship rivals Millwall.

The Lions, who signed the Scottish international on loan this summer, are keen on bringing him back to The Den this summer, and The Star understands they are negotiating with their counterparts at Bramall Lane about securing Burke’s signature for the best possible value.

Burke scored just one league goal for the Blades after arriving as part of a cash-swap deal involving Callum Robinson and West Bromwich Albion and although it remains to be seen whether United demand a significant transfer fee for a player whose contract expires next summer, United are expected to reinvest the majority of Burke’s salary if he does move on this summer.

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That has also been the case with other players who departed Bramall Lane at the end of last season, after Heckingbottom’s men came within a penalty shootout of reaching the Championship play-off final.

Loanees Morgan Gibbs-White, Ben Davies and Conor Hourihane, who were all on significant salaries having arrived from the Premier League, have all returned to their parent clubs, while David McGoldrick and fellow striker Lys Mousset were informed that their contracts would not be renewed when they officially expire at the end of this month.

Although United will focus the majority of their recruitment in this summer transfer window on loans and free transfers, there is money available in Heckingbottom’s budget to recruit on a permanent basis.

Oliver Burke of Sheffield United in action: Andrew Yates / SportimageOliver Burke of Sheffield United in action: Andrew Yates / Sportimage
Oliver Burke of Sheffield United in action: Andrew Yates / Sportimage

A seven-figure bid for a player remains on the table, with Arsenal’s Dan Ballard heavily linked with Bramall Lane.

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United chief executive Stephen Bettis revealed recently that the state of United’s finances means they can afford to sign a player earning £70,000 a week in the Premier League – raising hopes amongst the club’s fanbase that a player of comparable quality to Wolves star Gibbs-White may arrive this summer.

With Lions boss Gary Rowett revealing that his side are doing all they can to sign Burke, his days at Bramall Lane may be numbered – and his departure could help put another piece of Heckingbottom’s promotion jigsaw in place.

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