Sheffield United injury curse could complicate transfer move after Blades linked with £12.5m goalkeeper

Sheffield United looking to strengthen goalkeeper department in January transfer window

Sheffield United would have to rely on two favours from Leicester City if they follow up their reported interest in the Foxes' goalkeeper Danny Ward in this current transfer window. A report in The Sun has linked the Blades with a loan move for the Welsh international this month as they look to strengthen their goalkeeping options.

A £12.5m signing from Liverpool back in 2018, Ward has fallen behind Mads Hermansen and Jakub Stolarczyk in the pecking order at the King Power Stadium - after Daniel Iversen was loaned to Stoke City earlier this month - and all his five appearances this season have come for Wales. The report suggests that Blades boss Chris Wilder is keen on a loan deal for Ward, with a potential buy option in the summer.

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As a Premier League club United are permitted to have only two temporary loans and to stand any chance of landing Ward, United would need to negotiate an early termination of Luke Thomas' loan spell - from Leicester. Their other loan star, James McAtee, is a key part of their plans for the second half of the season as Wilder looks to mount a survival bid and retain United's Premier League status.

Thomas featured for the Blades in their FA Cup hammering of Gillingham at the weekend, but is one of six players currently on Wilder's books who can operate at left back. Two of those, in Max Lowe and Yasser Larouci, will be unavailable for the forseeable future through a combination of injury and international duty while another, Rhys Norrington-Davies, is on the comeback trail after 14 months out with a hamstring injury.

Norrington-Davies, Ward's teammate at international level, played almost the full game at Gillingham at left centre-half and his fitness will be closely monitored in the coming weeks and months to avoid any chance of a recurrence. Speaking ahead of the Gillingham trip, boss Wilder hinted at potential departures in the left-back area if it could give United room for manoeuvre in a more important position of their squad.

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"There have been ongoing discussions as well and I'm sure that in that, there'll be changes as well," Wilder said. "The whole squad has been looked at. We have to get the balance right. We have got Rhys coming back, Max is out for a number of weeks. So we have to deal with those situations and we have to get the balance right.

"It's no good having three or four left backs if we might possibly need players in another position. So in that there will be players departing as well to balance the group up and make the group look a bit better in terms of that."

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