Sheffield United: Why Celtic are convinced they can lure Blades to the negotiating table over star defender

Sheffield United appear set to be dragged into another war of attrition during this summer’s transfer market after Celtic confirmed they remain interested in George Baldock but warned they have no intention of paying more than £5m for the defender.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 24th July 2021, 10:55 am

As The Star revealed last month, Baldock is the former Scottish Premiership champions’ preferred candidate to fill the vacancy which exists for a full-back on the right hand side of their defence.

United value the 27-year-old at around double what officials at Parkhead believe he is worth. However, Ange Postecoglou has instructed his employers to continue monitoring Baldock ahead of next month’s deadline. Like Arsenal, whose protracted courtships of both Aaron Ramsdale and Sander Berge are designed to pressurise United into lower their demands, Celtic also believe they can lure them to the negotiating table by simply reiterating their desire to recruit Baldock whilst simultaneously letting it be known they won’t meet the asking price.

Both they and Arsenal are convinced the hardline stance Bramall Lane’s hierarchy have so far adopted is certain to soften as the deadline approaches. Last season’s relegation from the Premier League and the Covid-19 pandemic have had an effect upon United’s balance sheet, at a time when new manager Slavisa Jokanovic is also attempting to reprofile his squad.

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Although the Serb outlined his desire to see all of “our best players” remain in South Yorkshire next term, Celtic have also been emboldened by the fact his contract with United now has less than a year ro run.

George Baldock in action for Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage