Sheffield United switch their focus in the transfer market as manager looks to turbo-charge his attack
Sheffield United hope to begin accelerating their search for more new players next week, after winning the race to sign AFC Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
The Star understands Chris Wilder would like to acquire a centre-forward before the start of the new Premier League season, which is scheduled to begin on September 12, as well as bolstering his options on the right-side of defence.
A new midfielder, should the contract proposal United have made to John Lundstram remain unsigned, also features on the manager’s shopping list - with Reading’s John Swift thought to be his preferred option at this stage.
Despite handing improved deals to both captain Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick earlier this year, Wilder is keen to improve his squad’s firepower after identifying a lack of goals as one of its biggest weaknesses last term. Although United impressed on their return to the top-flight, challenging for a place in Europe before eventually finishing ninth, a miserly rearguard was the catalyst for that progress. Despite conceding an average of only 1.02 goals per game, fewer than Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Chelsea, United scored only 39 times in 38 outings.
After challenging former Swansea City striker Oli McBurnie to deliver greater returns next term, Wilder acknowledges United must become more adept at prising apart opponents in order to establish themselves at the highest level. Uruguayan Darwin Nunez, who plays for Almeria, and Emmanuel Dennis, the Nigeria international who represents Club Brugge, have both been linked with Bramall Lane in recent weeks. However, they also interest Benfica and Atalanta respectively.
United had a bid accepted by Wigan Athletic for full-back Antonee Robinson earlier this month, with the youngster seemingly destined for South Yorkshire until Fulham reportedly offered him a salary of around £50,000 a week.
Ramsdale was the subject of a late approach from Aston Villa, but elected to rejoin the club where he turned professional instead. The 22-year-old moved to The Vitality Stadium in January 2017, midway through United’s League One title winning campaign - the first of two promotions achieved under Wilder.