Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has confirmed the club’s interest in Nottingham Forest’s Ben Osborn.
The Blades have been strongly linked with Osborn for some time, but Wilder has now publicly declared that those rumours are true.
“Yes, we’ve been in discussions with Nottingham Forest regarding Ben, so I think that’s open and out there,” the 51-year-old told BBC Radio Sheffield following the 5-0 pre-season friendly win over Chesterfield.
“We’re hoping to conclude that.
“Ben’s coming to put a lot of pressure on the likes of John Fleck and can play in a midfield two, a midfield three and can play wing-back.
“It’s important that we get the squad structure right and have some real competition and Ben’s an outstanding performer for Forest and hopefully we can get that over the line in the next 24/48 hours.”
How much will Osborn cost the Blades?
The Sheffield Star reports that the fee paid for the 24-year-old will not break the club transfer record for a fourth time this summer.
Lys Mousset became United’s most expensive player ever when he joined from Bournemouth in a £10m deal.
However, it is understood to be an improvement on their opening bid of £3m – which was rejected by Forest. According to Nottinghamshire Live it is in excess of £4m.
The Mansfield and Ashfield Chad goes one further, claiming that the improved offer from the Blades for Osborn is for £5m. Now all that remains is for personal terms to be agreed.
Osborn has now entered the final year of his current contract at the City Ground, leaving the Reds in a difficult position. They either cash in now, or potentially face losing him for free in 12 months’ time. Clearly they have chosen the former.
Wilder went on to confirm that it is Osborn’s versatility that appeals the most. He likened the signing to that of Martin Cranie, who played all across the back line for the South Yorkshire side last season.