Reading wanted Sheffield United to pay more than £7m for John Swift this summer, reports The Sheffield Star.
The Blades were interested in signing Swift and made a £3.5m offer for the midfielder. However, the Royals made it clear they were seeking more than double that.
Chris Wilder instructed his recruitment team not to budge on their valuation. With the transfer budget tight, the United manager did not want to get drawn into an auction.
Swift was interested in the move and the chance to play in the Premier League once again. But with Reading wanting more money, the South Yorkshire club decided to walk away from negotiations.
Why Swift was wanted from Reading
Wilder felt he needed a new option in central midfield because of the uncertainty surrounding John Lundstram’s future.
Lundstram is out of contract at the end of this season. Discussions about a new deal started a year ago, but have since stalled.
There were rumours Lundstram could leave, with Burnley, Rangers and West Ham United all thought to be interested. As it was, the 26-year-old stayed put.
Wilder therefore decided he didn’t want to sign direct competition for Lundstram. Even if the Everton academy product could leave on a free transfer next summer.
Lundstram has since started all four of the Blades’ league games so far this term.
It was why, once the pursuit of Swift went cold, no alternative was focused on to sign. Instead United turned their attention to bringing in a new striker.
Rhian Brewster arrived from Liverpool in a club record £23.5m deal (BBC Sport). If anyone else is to be signed before Friday’s deadline, it will be a defender.
Wilder wants a replacement for Jack O’Connell, who is set to miss the rest of 2020/21 after having knee surgery.
However, with issues landing targets Terence Kongolo and Ben Davies, it’s likely no one else new will arrive before the transfer window closes.