Sheffield United's interest in Rhian Brewster enters a decisive phase after another target entered the frame
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After initially appearing to resign himself to the fact that an agreement for Brewster would prove impossible to broker, Wilder is thought to have stressed the need for attacking reinforcements to be brought in during a meeting with United’s hierarchy following Sunday’s 1-0 defeat by Leeds - which saw his team miss several opportunities to score their first Premier League goal of the season.
With Aston Villa and Crystal Palace also thought to be monitoring Brewster’s situation - although Steve Parish, the latter’s chairman, described talk of a £19m bid as “fabrication” - United are prepared to accept Liverpool’s demand for a buy back clause to be inserted into the contract the centre-forward has believed to have been negotiating at Bramall Lane. It is also thought Anfield’s owners have accepted a proposition to pay the fee required to trigger Brewster’s release in installments as a result, with Jurgen Klopp, Wilder’s counterpart in the North-West, believing that regular first team football will accelerate the youngster’s development.
Brewster’s advisors favour placing their client in South Yorkshire rather than Birmingham or his native London, where Wilder’s squad face Arsenal on Sunday afternoon. They calculate that opportunities will be in more plentiful supply at United, with both Villa and Palace already bolstering their frontlines in recent weeks.
Despite initially stressing that a striker remained the only item on his shopping list, Wilder has also been forced to accelerate plans to recruit another defender after Jack O’Connell underwent surgery to cure a persistent knee problem.
Although several names are being considered, Kongolo appears the most attractive proposition with Town acknowledging there is interest in the 26-year-old who started his career with Feyenoord before heading to England following a spell with Monaco. Kongolo has been capped four times by his country, also counts Fulham among his list of admirers after spending the second half of last season on loan at Craven Cottage.
Meanwhile, United’s Rhys Norrington-Davies, on loan at Luton Town, has been called-up by Wales for their forthcoming games against England, the Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria.