Sheffield United are still in “pole position” to sign John Swift from Reading, according to the Sheffield Star.
This is despite the fact United reportedly had a £4m offer for Swift rejected by the Royals.
Negotiations between the two clubs are set to continue and manager Chris Wilder is hopeful the midfielder will have joined his squad before they report back for pre-season training in a couple of weeks’ time.
Although Swift is a key player for Reading, the Championship side are open to selling the 25-year-old. That is primarily because he is a top earner at the Madejski Stadium and with the club experiencing financial problems, they need to balance the books.
So what is holding up the John Swift to Sheffield United deal?
As is always the case with these things, it comes down to money. The Royals are thought to be holding out for £6m for Swift and there are also issues about how they want to structure the deal.
Although they need the cash, the Berkshire team’s position is strengthened by other interest in the former England Under-21 international. Newly promoted Leeds United are also thought to be keeping tabs on Swift.
The fact that the Chelsea academy graduate wants to move north makes Leeds as much of a viable destination as Sheffield.
However, the Blades are not prepared to become embroiled in an auction for Swift. Wilder has already acknowledged that the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will affect his transfer budget this summer.
Therefore, they will not start a bidding war with Leeds for Swift. For Reading, while there are still other parties interested in their player they can hold out for £6m.
Yet as things stand, a move to Bramall Lane still looks the most likely outcome for Swift.