Jermain Defoe and Shane Long are among the strikers Sheffield United are considering as January targets.

The Sheffield Star reports that improving attack is a priority for Chris Wilder and Defoe and Long are on his radar.

Competition for Mark Duffy in the number ten role is also being sought as the Blades push for promotion.

Yet are the current Premier League duo what they need?

Defoe or Long?

Defoe is 36 but has kept himself in excellent physical shape. A loan from Bournemouth – for whom he has played just 21 league minutes this season – isn’t unrealistic.

Not only that but the veteran also has an impressive scoring record throughout his career. There is no reason to doubt Defoe wouldn’t thrive in the Championship.

The problem will come when it comes to paying the England international’s wages. The Mirror reported in 2017 when Defoe arrived at Dean Court that he signed a £130,000-a-week contract.

Even if the board do back Wilder in the transfer market that is way beyond their reach. A report in the Sun from August claimed United were interested in Scott Hogan and would make him their best paid player – on £35,000-a-week.

Surely the only way a deal could be struck for Defoe is if the Cherries accept heavily subsidising his wages.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

As for Long, the Irishman is five years younger but also has a far inferior scoring record. In the second tier the 31-year-old has a solid, but unremarkable, 39 strikes in 123 games. In the top flight it’s 48 in 277.

While not as high as Defoe’s, Long would also expect big wages; but does his CV warrant it?

Wilder is sensible to target the forward positions for improvement, with too much reliance on Duffy and Billy Sharp the only striker in decent form.

However, unless Defoe can be tempted to Bramall Lane on a relatively cheap deal, it may be worth looking elsewhere.

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