Sheffield United: The unusual tactic Blades are employing during the transfer window
Sheffield United are understood to have hired a go-between to help facilitate their transfer dealings this summer, with the individual concerned thought to have been granted the authority to identify potential deals with rival clubs.
Although the identity of the person instructed remains unknown, a number of independent but well placed sources within the game have told The Star they are aware of a middleman understood to hail from the Middle East, who has been granted permission to act on United’s behalf with regards to recruitment.
Rather than negotiating the finer details of purchases and sales - something which still falls within the remit of Carl Shieber, United’s head of football administration - the intermediary is said to be exploring either how much other teams are willing to pay for those new manager Slavisa Jokanovic might choose to offload or demand for players he wants to sign.
One agent described it as a tactic to put distance between United and the business they propose to do, limiting the chances of it becoming public and providing Bramall Lane’s hierarchy with a degree of deniability if it does.
Although Jokanovic has no plans to make wholesale changes to the squad he will inherit from Chis Wilder next month - telling United he feels it is in better shape than the ones he took charge of at Watford and Fulham - the Serb and owner HRH Prince Abdulah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud are aware that losing Premier League status last season means it is vulnerable to top-flight predators.
With Sander Berge expected to follow John Lundstram through the exit door rather than compete in the Championship, United have told Arsenal - the Norway international’s most persistent suitors - they want £35m before parting company with a player who cost only £22m less than a year and a half ago.
That message is likely to have been relayed by the conduit in question, who is believed to be based in Jordan.
Mikel Arteta’s employers are also said to be keen on United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale following his call-up to England’s Euro 2020 squad.