Sources suggest the identity of club who have reached an agreement with Sheffield United
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Although the identity of the team in question has never been revealed, sources within the game last night claimed it is likely to be Liverpool who now possess an option which would entitle Jurgen Klopp to acquire the individual concerned providing his employers matched any other bid.
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The arrangement, which is unlikely to be publicly acknowledged by any of the parties involved, was thrashed out during talks to reschedule the payment structure previously agreed by United when purchasing a player during their last stay in the Premier League two years ago.
Heckingbottom, who was appointed in November 2021, led his side back into the top flight last term with United also reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup where they were eventually beaten by Manchester City at Wembley.
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Those results were achieved despite the fact United were prevented from drafting in reinforcements midway through the campaign, after falling behind on their repayments relating to a number of previous deals. Their two biggest outlays in recent years were on Sander Berge, who arrived from Genk for £22m in January 2020 and Rhian Brewster. The centre-forward left Anfield for a fee which could eventually rise to £26m nine months later, although he is understood not to be among United’s highest earners.
With Brewster’s potential so far being suffocated by a series of hamstring injuries and his associated costs now thought to have been covered, Berge and Iliman Ndiaye are the two most coveted performers on United’s books despite preparing to enter the final year of their present agreements.
Berge has previously been linked with Liverpool, while Newcastle, Chelsea and Club Brugge have also enquired about his availability in the past.
Ndiaye was the subject of a bid from Everton, before United’s ban on processing new registrations was lifted. The attacker, who represented Senegal at the World Cup in Qatar, was Heckingbottom’s joint-leading scorer last term with 15 goals.