Sheffield United are among four clubs interested in Kilmarock right-back Stephen O’Donnell, according to the Daily Mail (June 26, page 81).
They are joined by three Championship sides – Derby County, Middlesbrough and Stoke City – in the chase.
O’Donnell is about to enter the final year of his current contract at Rugby Park. The Scottish Premiership side are reluctantly aware they may need to cash in on the 27-year-old.
The defender enjoyed a fine season in 2018/19, helping Killie finish third and qualify for Europe. O’Donnell has also earned nine caps for Scotland since his debut in May 2018.
Celtic are also understood to be interested, but the Daily Record says they are yet to make any sort of move.
Why do Sheffield United want Stephen O’Donnell?
On the face of it, the Blades do not need support on the right side of defence. George Baldock and Kieron Freeman shared the role last term.
However, O’Donnell isn’t the only player being linked with a move to Celtic Park. The Scottish Sun reports the Hoops are also keen on Baldock.
Manager Neil Lennon is short of options at right-back. Cristian Gamboa and Mikael Lustig have been released and Jeremy Toljan has returned to Borussia Dortmund after his loan.
Adam Matthews has been linked with a return to the club, while Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson is also being considered.
Yet it is Baldock that Lennon has identified as one of his top targets. And not only that, but the 26-year-old is also keen to speak to the Scottish champions.
Baldock is also out of contract in 2020, but Blades boss Chris Wilder does not want to sell and is prepared to lose him for nothing.
Football Insider also claims that the South Yorkshire club will offer him a bumper new deal in order to stay at Bramall Lane.