Sheffield United's search for more new signings hots-up as Chris Wilder and his squad arrive in Scotland

Sheffield United believe they edged closer to making another breakthrough in the transfer market before travelling to Scotland for pre-season training.

Monday, 24th August 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 24th August 2020, 8:12 am

After signing Aaron Ramsdale from AFC Bournemouth last week, having also unveiled fellow goalkeeper Wes Foderingham a month earlier, manager Chris Wilder is hopeful of adding a third player to his squad before they return to England on Saturday.

Having already registered an interest in Reading midfielder John Swift and Matty Cash, the Nottingham Forest defender, Wilder also wants to bring a new centre-forward to Bramall Lane ahead of September 14th’s meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers; United’s first match of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign.

Although his focus is on preparing for tomorrow’s friendly against Dundee United at Tannadice, Wilder and United’s transfer negotiators are confident progress is being made in pursuit of the club’s leading targets.

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Both Swift, previously of Chelsea, and Cash, one of the most exciting young talents in the Championship, are known to be keen on exploring moves to South Yorkshire after learning they feature on Wilder’s wanted list. Although neither Reading nor Forest are inclined to sell, and could demand players in exchange, they concede it will be difficult to deny them the chance of competing at the highest level after failing to win promotion last term.

The trip north of the border marks the start of a warm-up programme which also sees United face Derby County on Tuesday before concluding with a contest against Preston North End. Although there is a possibility Wilder could squeeze another outing onto the schedule, United, who have also been linked with strikers Emmanuel Dennis and Darwin Nunez of Club Brugge and Almeria respectively, are adamant they will be enough to brush off the cobwebs due to the quick turnaround in seasons. United were last in action on July 26, after competition was suspended in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s shorter, so we’ve made some changes,” Wilder said. “The objectives, though, are still the same as they always were. Those don’t change and they never will. We know what we’re working towards.”

As United’s search for attacking reinforcements intensifies, West Bromwich Albion’s Oli Burke is another name to reportedly appear on Wilder’s radar. Slaven Bilic, his counterpart at The Hawthorns, could be prepared to let the former RB Leipzig marksman leave for around £5m following a frustrating spell in the Midlands and would be keen in replacing him with Callum Robinson - who finished the campaign on loan there from United. However Wilder will be unimpressed by claims Bilic values Robinson at around £4m - significantly less than he paid to recruit the Republic of Ireland international from Preston last summer.

Chris Wilder and his Sheffield United squad return to competition next month: Peter Powell/Pool via Getty Images

Despite struggling for opportunities during th build-up to Christmas, Wilder has been impressed by Robinson's professionalism since arriving from Deepdale and has no burning desire to push him through the exit door.

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Sheffield United have travelled to Scotland for pre-season training
Sheffield United's manager Chris Wilder is hopeful of making at least one more new signing in the not too distant future: SHAUN BOTTERILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images