Sheffield United are set to increase their interest in Reading midfielder John Swift, reports the Sheffield Star.
The Blades are expected to contact the Championship club this week about potentially signing Swift.
Manager Chris Wilder believes the 25-year-old is a realistic target, after acknowledging his transfer budget will be reduced because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Swift is under contract at the Madejski Stadium until 2022 and has impressed in the second tier of English football once again this season.
Despite the Royals’ struggles, the Chelsea academy graduate has scored six goals and provided 10 assist in 2019/20.
Considered a playmaker, Wilder presumably believes Swift would improve his side’s usual three-man central midfield.
How much will John Swift cost Sheffield United?
There have been previous reports of United being keen on Swift. Berkshire Live recently claimed the South Yorkshire side have made a £3.5m offer for the former England Under-21 international.
Reading do not want to sell Swift, or any other of their key players, this summer. However, they are experiencing financial difficulties and could be forced to.
Swift is among the club’s biggest earners and boss Mark Bowen admits players like him could well leave.
“It’s an ongoing situation,” Bowen said. “I can’t give any specifics but I think there is a real danger that players – if the right offer comes in – could be sold. There’s a real possibility of that.”
The Blades would face competition for Swift, though, with newly promoted Leeds United also thought to be interested.
Leeds confirmed their return to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years this weekend. Yet while Leeds are an exciting prospect under head coach Marcelo Bielsa, the Blades could well offer European football next term.
Even if they don’t qualify for the Europa League, a top 10 finish this campaign should make a switch to Wilder’s side enticing for Swift.