Nottingham Forest have rejected an opening £3m offer from Sheffield United for Ben Osborn, reports the Guardian.
Osborn has now entered the final year of his current contract at the City Ground. Despite this, the Sun claims Forest are holding out for closer to £6m.
According to the Sheffield Star, an agreement between the two clubs for Osborn is close. Talks are said to have progressed well and negotiations are now at an advanced stage.
How much the South Yorkshire club will actually have to pay for Osborn remains to be seen, though. Clearly £3m is not enough, but will they stretch as far as double that?
Osborn himself is understood to be interested in making the switch to test himself in the Premier League. To date, the Reds academy product has spent his entire career at Forest.
Why Sheffield United want Osborn
The versatile 24-year-old fits the bill of the sort of targets manager Chris Wilder is looking to sign this summer following promotion.
As Wilder explained when Callum Robinson joined from Preston North End, he wants Championship players looking to prove a point in the top flight.
Luke Freeman has also been acquired from QPR for the same reason.
Osborn is an attractive prospect because of his versatility as well. The former England Under-20 international is likely to be primarily viewed as backup/competition for Enda Stevens at left wing-back.
Osborn spent much of last season either operating at full-back or on the left side of midfield. He is therefore perfectly placed to try and push Stevens for a place in Wilder’s 3-4-1-2 system.
However, Osborn also has the capability to play as a central midfielder. This is also useful as currently Wilder only has three natural options in the role – John Fleck, Oliver Norwood and John Lundstram.