Sheffield United’s Viktor Gyokeres transfer chances rated as Coventry City striker ‘wants move’

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Striker linked with Blades ‘wants move away’

Sheffield United will be keeping an eye on transfer developments in the Midlands after Viktor Gyökeres, one of the Championship’s most in-demand strikers, admitted he wants to move away from Coventry City this summer.

The Swedish international was widely rumoured to be leaving the Sky Blues but he stayed to help City into the play-offs, where they lost in the final to Luton Town - who will join United in the top-flight next season.

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Gyökeres is valued highly by Coventry, who have previously demanded a fee in excess of £20m for their star man. Gyökeres had been linked with United but, at that fee, would be out of United’s price range, with boss Paul Heckingbottom handed a transfer budget of around that amount with which to seal the five or six players he is seeking.

But, perhaps crucially, Gyökeres is preparing to enter the final 12 months of his City contract and, judging by his comments about his future on Swedish TV, looks unlikely to sign an extension. That may tempt City to lower their demands and take a reduced fee this summer, or risk losing their prized asset for nothing in the summer of 2024.

If City do lower their demands sufficiently, then they may find themselves back in contention for Gyökeres’ services. At only 25 he fits the transfer profile outlined by United owner Prince Abdullah - of signing young players with potential to get even better but also retain value if they need to be sold in the future - while Heckingbottom’s £20m budget may receive a boost if the Prince completes a deal to sell the Blades, or is successful in his bid to secure outside investment in the club.

Swedish TV4’s Olof Lundh was one of several journalists to interview Gyökeres back in his homeland recently. “He told us that when they missed out on the Premier League with Coventry after two really good seasons, that he wants to move away,” Lundh told the BBC.

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“He told us he could have left the club in January but the club wanted him to stay the full season - and he did.”

Gyökeres scored 21 goals and added 12 assists last season to help City into the play-offs and has also attracted interest from Portugal, where Sporting Lisbon are understood to have made an offer of around £13m. United could play on Gyökeres’ desire to play in the Premier League and also offer him the prospect of more game time than the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, who The Star understands were monitoring the striker earlier this season.

“He feels that the reports in the Portuguese media [of a] price tag of £20m for him might be a little bit steep when he only has a year left,” Lundh added.

“He wants to move up. The question is should he go to Sporting, where he can play in Europe, or should he go to a club in the Premier League that will fight for survival like Everton? It’s a tough decision for him.”

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