Sheffield United are considering trying to sign Richairo Zivkovic on a permanent transfer, according to Yorkshire Live.
The Blades had the option to secure Zivkovic permanently as part of the original deal when the striker arrived at Bramall Lane in January.
However, that buy-out clause is no longer financially viable for the club due to the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Sheffield Star reports United could lose up to £30m as a direct result of the crisis.
Yet it seems that doesn’t mean the permanent signing of Zivkovic is off the table. Apparently the Blades are hoping his parent club, Changchun Yatai, are open to fresh negotiations.
Manager Chris Wilder discussed the situation regarding Zivkovic at the beginning of this month.
“Regarding budgets and whatever, with Richairo, it’s moving all the time,” Wilder said. “It was a loan with a view and it still is.
“There’s conversations we’ve had in terms of overall (squad) structure. Some players will go out, some will be released.
“Richairo is with us for another month and we’ll see what happens.”
Do Sheffield United need Richairo Zivkovic?
Following the 1-0 defeat to Everton, Wilder specifically mentioned the need for “more quality at the top of the pitch”.
That Premier League loss was United’s second in a row, while they also failed to score for successive games.
Lys Mousset was left out of the match-day squad entirely, leading to speculation the striker could leave this summer.
If there is one area of criticism in what has been an impressive return to the top flight this season, it is a lack of goals. Only six sides have scored fewer than the Blades in the league in 2019/20 and they are all positioned 13th or lower.
Mousset and Oli McBurnie are the joint top-scorers with six strikes.
The little evidence so far doesn’t necessarily suggest Zivkovic is the solution to that problem. The 23-year-old is yet to find the back of the net himself.
Yet Zivkovic has only managed four substitute appearances, all since the restart, totalling 68 minutes.
In any case, Wilder has previously said a potential deal for the Dutchman would be based on his judgement, rather than minutes on the pitch.
It seems this particular transfer saga may not be over just yet.