The Northern Echo reports Sheffield United will “firm up interest” in Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga.

Blades manager Chris Wilder had been interested in signing Oli McBurnie from Swansea City. However, McBurnie is now expected to follow Graham Potter to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Potter managed the Scotland international at the Swans in 2018/19 but has since been appointed as Brighton boss.

Now Wilder will turn his attention back to Assombalonga. Boro are expected to sell if they receive close to the £15m they paid Nottingham Forest for the 26-year-old in 2017.

The North East club have to cut costs this summer as their parachute payments from the Premier League decrease. They need to ensure they do not breach Financial Fair Play rules.

Assombalonga is among their highest earners and therefore getting the forward off the books could help greatly in achieving that.

Other interest

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As previously mentioned, McBurnie was high up on Wilder’s wish list. Yet it seems that linking up again with Potter at the Amex Stadium is a more tempting offer for the 22-year-old.

Brentford’s Neal Maupay – who scored 25 Championship goals this season – also interests Wilder. However, the report says that Assombalonga is preferred to Maupay currently.

Teesside Live claims that Wilder is keen to bring players from the top end of England’s second tier up with the Blades into the top flight.

That is why the likes of Assombalonga, Maupay and McBurnie are being targeted.

United currently only have two senior strikers for next season in David McGoldrick and Billy Sharp. Caolan Lavery and Conor Washington have been released and loanees Scott Hogan and Gary Madine have returned their parent clubs. Meanwhile, Leon Clarke and Ched Evans have been placed on the transfer list.

Yet, according to the Daily Mail, the Blades plan to hold talks with Madine over a permanent move from Cardiff City.

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