Chris Wilder has explained why Sheffield United were never going to beat Aston Villa to the signing of Ollie Watkins.
The Blades were linked with Watkins this summer after he scored 26 goals to help Brentford to the Championship playoff final.
Yet the 24-year-old eventually joined Villa in a club record deal potentially rising to £33m (BBC Sport). It’s also reported the Birmingham side are paying Watkins £70,000-a-week.
“You look at Ollie Watkins coming out the Championship and going for that price,” Wilder said in his pre-match press conference ahead of tonight’s Carabao Cup match with Burnley, as quoted by Yorkshire Live.
“It’s a huge fee and it’s not just the fee it’s the wages as well, we have to keep a cap on wages.
“We are just not in that market.”
What next for Blades after Ollie Watkins joined Aston Villa?
United are still in the market for a striker during this transfer window. In fact, it’s the last signing Wilder wants to make before deadline day on October 5.
The 52-year-old has already overseen the arrival of six new players since the end of last season, with several expected to start against the Clarets tonight.
Yet with Lys Mousset currently injured, support upfront remains important. Especially as a lack of goals was an issue last term, despite a campaign that was impressive overall.
The Blades finished ninth in their first Premier League season in 12 years, but only three teams scored fewer than them.
It’s why they’ve been strongly linked with a move for Liverpool youngster Rhian Brewster. Wilder has also confirmed the South Yorkshire club have made an enquiry about Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun.