Sheffield United set to be offered an alternative to £10m midfielder

Although they have been careful not to mention a fee, or even provide any clues about how much Stoke City might demand, the figure those tasked with trying to identify potential buyers for Joe Allen have been handed by officials at the bet365 Stadium is likely to be significantly lower than the £10m Fulham are demanding for their midfielder Tom Cairney in this summer’s transfer market.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 4:59 am

As The Star has reported, Sheffield United feature among a number of clubs set to be invited to submit a bid for Allen whose time in Staffordshire appears to be coming to an end as City look to restructure their finances.

Although it remains unclear if new United manager Slavisa Jokanovic would be interested in acquiring the services of a player who has been capped by both Wales and Great Britain at international level, Allen certainly represents a more attainable option given City’s willingness to consider all serious offers ahead of next season. Rather than trying to scare off suitors - something the price tag Fulham have slapped on Cairney is designed to do - sources within the game indicate City would positively welcome the opportunity to discuss a deal for Allen, who is currently on duty at the European Championships.

City’s decision to try and offload Allen stems not from concerns about his performances or fitness record in recent months, but a desire to adopt a more prudent approach towards their off-the-pitch spending next term. Despite continuing to pump money into their squad after being relegated from the Premier League three years ago, Michael O’Neill’s employers are now looking to tighten the purse strings by offloading a number of high-earners.

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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 12: Former Sheffield United loanee Ethan Ampadu of Wales interacts with team mate Joe Allen following the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group A match between Wales and Switzerland at the Baku Olympic Stadium on June 12, 2021 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Valentin Ogirenko - Pool/Getty Images)

Allen, aged 31, is estimated to have cost around £13m when he joined City from Liverpool in 2016.

Having progressed though Swansea City’s youth system - making his first appearance on a senior team sheet during an FA Cup tie against United - Allen helped them gain promotion from both League One and the Championship before sealing a move to Anfield.

With Sander Berge expected to depart following their relegation from the top-flight abd John Lundstram also moving on after refusing to extend his contract, midfield is a priority position for United as they look to tweak their squad ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.