Sheffield United's Tom Lawrence transfer approach detailed amid Rangers future speculation

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Sheffield United linked with Welsh international Tom Lawrence once again two years after losing out at 11th-hour

Sheffield United were so confident of securing the signing of Tom Lawrence two summers ago that they moved one of the club’s staff out of the hotel at their Portuguese training base to accommodate him. The former Derby County man has been linked with United again as he prepares to enter the final year of his contract at Rangers.

It was the Glasgow giants who gazumped United to Lawrence’s signing back in 2022 after the Blades had made arrangements for the midfielder to join them at their pre-season camp in Portugal ahead of a free-transfer move from Pride Park. But at the 11th hour Rangers came in and “blew United out of the water,” in the words of then-Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom, to sign Lawrence.

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Chris Wilder, Heckingbottom’s successor at Bramall Lane, has been credited with interest in Lawrence this summer alongside Besiktas - now managed by Giovanni van Bronckhorst, the man who took the 30-year-old to Ibrox two years ago - and his former club Ipswich Town, newly-promoted to the Premier League. Rangers would command a transfer fee for Lawrence, who isn’t out of contract until next summer, which could hamper United’s hopes, with Wilder admitting recently that he was focusing on loans and free transfers.

The expected sale of Anel Ahmedhodzic and/or Vini Souza could free up some room in Wilder’s budget ahead of the official opening of the transfer window on Friday. United are light in midfield after the departures of Ollie Norwood and Ben Osborn this summer, while offers will also be invited for Anis Slimane after an unconvincing start to life in English football since arriving from Brondby a year ago.

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