Sheffield United are planning on making a move for Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick in January, according to the Sun (11/8, page 59).
The summer transfer window may have only just closed, but apparently Blades manager Chris Wilder is already looking to who he can sign next.
Premier League clubs will be able to bring in new players from January 1 when the window reopens for a month. And Hendrick is supposedly high up on Wilder’s wish list.
The 27-year-old has now entered the final year of his current contract at Turf Moor. What’s more, Hendrick was an unused substitute in the Clarets’ opening day 3-0 win over Southampton and therefore there are doubts about whether he is in Sean Dyche’s plans.
That’s why United think they can sign the Republic of Ireland international in a cut-price deal. Burnley either sell in January, or face losing Hendrick on a free transfer the following summer.
Is Jeff Hendrick what Sheffield United need?
Before Muhamed Besic arrived as a deadline day loan from Everton, Hendrick could arguably have been exactly what Wilder was after.
The Sheffield Star reported that the 51-year-old wanted to add a box-to-box player to his squad before the window shut.
In truth, Besic does not fit that description. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international is very much defensively-minded and can even play in the back-line.
Hendrick, meanwhile, operated throughout midfield for Dyche’s men last season. The Irishman also played on the right-hand side towards the end of the 2018/19 campaign.
That ability to operate anywhere in the middle of the park could prove to be appealing to Wilder. Especially if he chooses to play a 3-5-2 formation more often.
That was how the Blades lined up at Bournemouth on the opening day. It was a more cautious approach than the 3-4-1-2 that became commonplace last term and proved successful, as they left the Vitality Stadium with a 1-1 draw.
Hendrick could easily slot into that three-man central midfield. He also boasts Premier League experience, having played almost 100 games in the division.