Colley, Davies, Rojo - why there are doubts about Sheffield United signing any of their defensive targets

There are doubts about whether Sheffield United will sign any of their key defensive targets this month.

The Blades are keen to bring in a left-sided defender on loan during the current transfer window.

Manager Chris Wilder wants cover for Jack O’Connell, who is expected to miss the rest of the season after having knee surgery.

O’Connell hasn’t played since the very start of 2020/21. In his absence, Wilder has played five different players on the left of his back three.

None of them have excelled, with United having failed to keep a single clean sheet this campaign.

Their form is terrible. They are bottom of the Premier League with no wins and just two points from 17 games.

It’s a massive downfall from last term, when the Blades finished ninth in their first top flight season in 12 years. They also had the fourth best defensive record in the division in 2019/20.

Why there are doubts about all three Sheffield United targets

It’s become apparent there are a trio of centre-backs most likely to join the South Yorkshire club in January.

Here are the problems with each.

Omar Colley

Photo by Massimiliano Ferraro/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Colley plays for Sampdoria and Turkish side Fenerbahce are also thought to be interested in the 28-year-old.

Yet the Gambia international is thought to be excited about a move to England. However, Wilder fears United’s league position could put overseas targets such as him off.

“From a foreign point of view, it will most certainly be more difficult because of our league position,” the 53-year-old told Yorkshire Live.

“But not domestically, because I believe if we bring a player in on loan domestically he will understand the team and the stats, how we play and how close we are to wins.”

Brexit is another consideration, with signings from Europe now made more difficult by the fact the UK is no longer in the EU.

Yet we have previously outlined that it’s likely Colley would qualify for a work permit.

Ben Davies

Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Although the Blades have done much of their transfer business in the Championship since being promoted in 2019, this deal looks the most unlikely of the three.

Davies is a long-term target and has entered the final six months of his current contract at Preston North End.

The 25-year-old is unlikely to sign a new one, despite the offer of a record deal from Preston North End. It’s therefore thought he’s available for around £5m this month.

But Davies is unsure about a move to Bramall Lane. Bournemouth, Celtic, Genk, Rangers and Udinese are also thought to be keen.

Marcos Rojo

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

At first this looks like a potential deal. Rojo is out of favour at Man United and The Daily Mail reports the Argentina international would prefer to stay in England if he leaves.

Newcastle United are also interested and the 30-year-old earns around £80,000-a-week.

A move to Boca Juniors in his home country is a possibility as well, with Rojo having held talks with the club.

Yet the main problem for the Blades is that they are also keen on one of the defender’s teammates.

Jesse Lingard has been strongly linked with a move to Bramall Lane and Premier League rules state a side cannot sign two loanees from the same fellow top flight club.

If it came down a straight decision between the two, Lingard would surely be the more attractive signing?

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