The Sun on Sunday (12/5; page 59) reports that Sheffield United are prepared to meet Sheffield Wednesday’s £14m valuation of Fernando Forestieri.
The Blades are preparing for life in the Premier League following promotion. Manager Chris Wilder wants to use the majority of his budget on two attacking players.
Wilder’s scouts think that Forestieri would be the perfect signing – despite the fact he currently plays for United’s great rivals.
Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri would not be popular among the fans if he sold a player directly to the Blades. However, the Thai businessman is keen to balance the books.
The Owls threw large funds at getting promoted in 2015/16 and 2016/17 without achieving it. As such, financial cutbacks are having to be made.
Therefore, receiving £14m for a player who has started just 21 games over the past two seasons due to injury would probably be welcomed. Forestieri also turns 30 next January.
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A good signing?
Forestieri is an Argentine-born Italian forward who has played in England for the past seven-and-a-half years.
The 29-year-old first moved to the country as part of the links between Watford and Udinese. They are both owned by the Pozzo family.
Forestieri played 92 times for the Hornets, scoring 21 goals, before moving to Hillsborough in the summer of 2015.
Two fine campaigns followed in which the former Italy Under-21 international scored 31 Championship goals. However, the past two years have been blighted by injuries.
Forestieri generally likes to operate behind the main striker or out on the wing. In Wilder’s 3-4-1-2 system that would suggest he would be a number ten.
Yet he could be given more freedom as one of the two strikers, playing off a more traditional number nine such as Billy Sharp.
Either way, considering his age, fitness issues and the fact he is about to enter the final year of his current contract, £14m for Forestieri seems risky.