“Desperate” Conor Coady’s Leicester City admission hints at Sheffield United transfer chances

Blades were linked with former loanee before Leicester switch
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Conor Coady’s first words after sealing a switch to newly-relegated Leicester City have suggested that Sheffield United faced an uphill battle for his services this summer, even if they had room on their budget to make a permanent deal work. The 30-year-old centre-half penned a three-year deal at Leicester over the weekend after a fee, reportedly £7.5m plus add-ons, was agreed with Wolves for the England man.

Coady became available this summer when Everton opted not to make his loan spell permanent, with United one of the clubs mentioned in connection with him after their relegation back to the top-flight. But with boss Paul Heckingbottom only working to a limited budget for permanent signings, and with owner Prince Abdullah making his ideal transfer profile perfectly clear, United were always up against it even before Coady’s Premier League wage at Wolves was taken into account.

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Despite Leicester’s new-found Championship status, there is an expectation that the Foxes will mount a real promotion push this season under Pep Guardiola’s former No.2 at Manchester Ciy, Enzo Maresca. The club’s £100m training ground, opened in 2019, played a part too, boasting 14 pitches and even a nine-hole golf course. United’s Shirecliffe base, meanwhile, is in broadly similar shape to 2014, when Coady enjoyed a successful season at United on loan from Liverpool.

Rather than see moving to City as a step down, Coady is excited by the project on offer and says he wanted to pursue the interest as soon as he was made aware of it.

“I’m absolutely over the moon. I couldn’t wait to get down here, to obviously see everyone and get everything signed and boxed off,” Coady said. “Now I’m here, I’m massively excited. I’ve been massively excited all summer to be fair and it’s something I was desperate to get done.

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“I’ve played against the club numerous times and it’s so, so hard playing against Leicester City. That’s something we need to take into the season. This place is incredible; I think it’s the best training ground I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s got absolutely everything so there’s no excuses for us going forward into the new campaign.

“Knowing a few of the lads here as well and how they speak of the football club, but looking at Leicester City as a whole, it’s such an exciting place to be. I’m massively excited about joining so it wasn’t a hard decision. As soon as I heard of the interest, it was something I wanted to pursue. I can’t wait to get started.”

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