Sheffield United are closing in on a £10m deal for Bournemouth’s Lys Mousset as BBC Sport reports the striker has passed a medical.
If completed, it will see the Blades break their transfer record for a third time this summer since gaining promotion back to the Premier League.
As the Yorkshire Post outlines, first Luke Freeman arrived from QPR for £5m and then Callum Robinson was an £8m signing from Preston North End.
Mousset will become United’s fifth new arrival, with Phil Jagielka and Ravel Morrison having also been signed as free agents.
The 23-year-old has struggled to make much impact with the Cherries since joining from Le Havre in a £5.7m deal in 2016. Since then Mousset has scored five goals in 71 appearances – mostly as a substitute.
Why Sheffield United are taking a gamble with Mousset
Although Robinson can operate as a secondary striker, Blades manager Chris Wilder is yet to sign the number nine he so clearly desires.
The Sheffield Star reports that Brentford’s Neal Maupay and Oli McBurnie of Swansea City have been the primary targets in the position since the end of the season.
In fact, United have had a £15m bid for McBurnie rejected by the Swans – as reported by BBC Sport – as they hold out for in excess of £20m.
The reason both Maupay and McBurnie appeal to Wilder is because they are standout Championship stars who could potentially make the step up. They scored 25 and 22 league goals respectively in 2018/19.
This is not a trait that applies to Mousset. The Frenchman is admittedly the same age as McBurnie and only a year older than Maupay, so has plenty of scope to develop.
Yet unlike those two, Mousset has not been making regular appearances or consistently finding the back of the net. In France’s second tier he showed his potential with 14 goals in 34 games, but since coming to England he has been average to poor.
Wilder is well trusted in the transfer market by Blades fans and with good reason. Some doubted his acquisitions of Leon Clarke and David McGoldrick over the past two years, but both exceeded expectations.
However, signing Mousset does represent a risk. More so than Maupay or McBurnie would.