David Brooks is being linked with a return to Sheffield United following Bournemouth’s relegation by The Sun (August 13, page 51).
Brooks left Bramall Lane for the Cherries two years ago, but manager Chris Wilder remains a fan of the midfielder.
Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are also thought to be interested in the 23-year-old, who is apparently valued at £35m.
That is a whopping £23.5m more than the Dorset club paid for Brooks when they signed him from the Blades for £11.5m (Bournemouth Echo) in 2018.
The Wales international made an immediate impression in the Premier League, scoring seven goals in 2018/19. That season Brooks was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, eventually won by Raheem Sterling.
Unfortunately the midfield ace missed most of last term with an ankle injury suffered the previous summer. Initially thought to be out for 12 weeks, Brooks eventually required two operations and didn’t return until post-lockdown.
Why Sheffield United won’t sign David Brooks
Wilder is an admirer of Brooks and didn’t want to lose him two years ago. Yet, at the time, United had just finished 10th in their first Championship campaign in six years, while Bournemouth were an established top flight side.
“If he kicks on, he’s got good attributes,” Wilder told the Sheffield Star at the time. “Every player has to try and fulfil their potential.
“In terms of the deal the football club have got, in terms of the money being banded about, the club has got a deal.
“If he does fulfil his potential, we’ve worked numbers in to the deal that protects us as well.”
Much has changed since then and there is a romantic notion that Brooks will reunite with Wilder. Yet the money being quoted for the Welshman is way beyond the club’s reach.
The Blades paid their record transfer fee for Sander Berge during the January transfer window, with the midfielder joining for £22m (BBC Sport).
To think they will now splash £13m more than that on Brooks is unrealistic. Especially because of the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is set to cost the club £20m.
But it doesn’t mean the sale of Brooks won’t be a good thing. United inserted a sell-on clause into the deal when they sold him in 2018. This is something Wilder alludes to in his comments above.
The higher the fee that is paid for Brooks, the more they will receive.