Sheffield United have had a £10m bid for defender Matty Cash rejected by Nottingham Forest, reports the Telegraph.
Southampton and West Ham United are also understood to be interested in the versatile right-back and are preparing offers themselves.
With Forest looking for at least £15m for Cash, the Blades are expected to return with an improved bid too. Yet with competition for the 22-year-old becoming fierce, they will need to stand out in some way.
Which is perhaps why they should use reported interest from the City Ground in Luke Freeman to sweeten the deal?
According to Football Insider, the Reds were keen on signing Freeman on loan during the January transfer window. In the end, the 28-year-old stayed put, but has since struggled for game time under Chris Wilder.
Freeman made 16 appearances for the Blades last season after joining from QPR for £5m. However, since the turn of the year the midfielder played just twice in the league, both as a substitute and totalling 38 minutes.
As Forest look to rebuild after agonisingly missing out on the Championship playoffs on the final day, including Freeman in the transfer of Cash could well appeal.
Where would Matty Cash fit in at Sheffield United?
Having played the majority of 2019/20 at full-back, it would initially seem that Wilder views Cash as competition for George Baldock.
While that may be true, the Reds academy graduate also has experience throughout midfield. It therefore seems like he could follow in the footsteps of another signing from Forest – Ben Osborn.
Osborn has been used as a left-sided wing-back and in central midfield since his arrival at Bramall Lane last summer. Cash could operate in a similar way, with the ability to play at right wing-back or in the middle.
Wilder is known to favour players who show versatility and he certainly fits the criteria. It now remains to be seen whether the Blades can win the race for Cash’s signature.