The Blades are today being linked with a move for Argentina international winger, Nicolás Gaitán.
According to reports from the Guardian, the Blades are among a number of clubs interested in Gaitán. The report also credits West Ham and Aston Villa with an interest.
The 31-year-old is set to leave Chicago Fire. He has been plying his trade in the MLS since leaving Dalian Yifang over in China. However, he is best known in Europe for his performances with Benfica. His form for the Portuguese giants subsequently earned him a big money move to Atletico Madrid.
Gaitán has an option to stay in the MLS. However, it is believed he is looking to make his way back in to Europe.
The story behind a man once tipped for Manchester United
Nicolás Gaitán was once seen as one of the top attacking midfield players in Europe. After coming over to Portugal from Boca Juniors, he spent six seasons with Benfica. Gaitán became a regular, winning three league titles in his spell at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
His form attracted admiring glances from the likes of Manchester United before he sealed a move to Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone. However, he struggled to hold down a regular place under his fellow countryman and moved away from the club after only 18 months.
His next move took him to the big spending Chinese Super League. The writing was on the wall, however, as Gaitán played his part in a losing 8-0 effort in his first game in China.
From there, he moved to the MLS with Chicago Fire. It is here where the 31-year-old has rediscovered some of his best form. Four goals this season along with 11 assists have got interest scouts looking on again.
It is, then, little surprise that with his contract running down, Premier League clubs are making their interest in Gaitán known.
Would he fit in at Sheffield United?
First off, it’s a sign of how far the Blades have come given they are being linked with players of such quality.
Gaitán has 19 caps and two goals for his country, although the last of those caps came back in 2016. However, he’s still represented one of the best footballing nations in the world. Indeed, it was Diego Maradona who gave him his debut for his country at just 21.
For Sheffield United, it would be an odd move. Gaitán would come with a high wage packet you would have to assume. That’s something Chris Wilder has been keen to keep in check.
Obviously, if he comes in on a free-transfer then there might be value in stumping up the wages. With that said, you’d have to assume it would only be a short-term deal.
There’s the other issue of where he would play. He can play up front or as a number ten, but is best suited out wide. United don’t operate this way. Gaitán is certainly not going to fill in at wing-back!
While there might be truth in the rumours, a move to West Ham or Villa would appear more likely. Given the signings the Blades have made and the style of player Chris Wilder goes for, it’s hard to see Gaitán fitting the mould of a United player.
The Blades might well look to strengthen in January. Indeed, meetings have already been taking place between Chris Wilder and the owners.
Nicolás Gaitán is a class act who would bring genuine quality to the Blades. Whether this is a move that can materialise, though, is another matter.