Sheffield United are keen on signing Lewis O’Brien from Nottingham Forest, but could have to commit to a £10m summer transfer to get it done.
The Blades are close to selling Sander Berge at the moment. Both Fulham and Newcastle are trying to sign the Norwegian midfielder, with United having to raise cash to clear their transfer embargo.
O’Brien, who only signed for Forest in the summer, has found himself down the pecking order at the City Ground.
An influx of new signings and injury niggles have seen the former Huddersfield man struggle for game time.
And according to the BBC, interest from Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion is there, albeit the Reds want a commitment to sell O’Brien.
It’s claimed Forest want to recoup the £10m they paid for O’Brien. It means should United take the midfielder on loan, then they’d be obliged to pay up in the summer. The fee is only likely to be able to be paid should the Blades actually win promotion.
O’Brien was one of the standout performers in the Championship last season with Huddersfield. He helped The Terriers to the playoff final before, coincidentally, Forest beat them 1-0.
Sheffield United News View: Lewis O’Brien is ideal but the £10m is a big problem
These sorts of deal are becoming more and more commonplace in football now. We don’t see it a lot with Sheffield United just because of how tight money has been. But in general, they happen a lot.
However, for the Blades to commit to spending £10m on a player who can’t get in a current PL side is a big gamble.
Naturally, we do need to replace Berge and O’Brien really does fit the bill. However, it does come with a risk if we meet Forest’s demands.
The board need to get things right in the coming days. They’re clearly pushing to sell Berge, so they need to put as much effort into getting a replacement as they are doing in selling the Norwegian on.