Sheffield United make their pitch to Liverpool as talks over striker continue ahead of Premier League opener
Sheffield United have held further talks with Liverpool as Chris Wilder attempts to lure Rhian Brewster to Bramall Lane, after officials at Bramall Lane presented Jurgen Klopp with a detailed development programme for the England under-21 centre-forward which they believe can help them fend-off competition from Aston Villa.
The discussions, which are believed to have continued over the weekend, are designed to see Brewster become the final acquisition of a summer recruitment drive that has so far seen six new players arrive in South Yorkshire.
Despite signing Ollie Watkins from Brentford for a club record fee, sources in the West Midlands insist Villa are still keen on adding Brewster to their ranks before the end of the transfer window. But Wilder, whose side begin the new season with a home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow evening, is hopeful United’s pressing style - which Klopp also employs - combined with his commitment to nurturing the youngster properly means the German will view United as a more desirable destination for one of Liverpool’s most exciting talents.
“We’ve had to be patient in this window, it’s probably been the toughest I’ve ever known,” Wilder said, acknowledging the financial and fixture disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has been a contributing factor. “But so far it’s been a really good one. Pound for pound and in terms of talent.”
“I’m delighted to get the players in who we’ve already got over the line and hopefully there’ll be another one to complete the set. Hopefully that will come sooner rather than later but, if we have to wait a little bit, then so be it. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.”
With Oliver Burke arriving from West Bromwich Albion as part of a deal which saw Callum Robinson move in the opposite direction and United net £3m, Wilder sees Brewster, who scored 11 times in 22 appearances during a spell on loan at Swansea City last season, as the final piece in his attacking jigsaw. Aaron Ramsdale is expected to get the nod ahead of fellow goalkeeper Wes Foderingham, previously of Rangers, when Wolves travel north after being signed for an initial £10.5m. Ethan Ampadu, on loan from Chelsea, could also make his debut while former Derby County duo Max Lowe and Jayden Bogle are likely to be named on the bench.
“It’s a tough game against a team we really respect,” Wilder said. “But I’m sure they’ll be saying the same thing about us.
"I think we've brought genuine competition in and some really good players too, to boost what is already a really good bunch of lads."
"We did really well last year," Wilder added, reflecting upon United's ninth placed finish. "But that doesn't count for anything now and we want to get off to a good start, because doing that was a big reason - for me - why we were able to do well last season, because of the confidence it gave us to go forward and build going forward.”