AS Sheffield United were last night hoping to secure a record deal to sign Oli McBurnie after lodging an improved bid for the Swansea City striker, Huddersfield Town had already written a new entry in their own record books following Philip Billing’s switch to Bournemouth.
The Terriers are understood to have banked slightly more than £15m after off-loading Denmark Under-21s international Billing to Bournemouth. The fee comfortably eclipses the previous highest – the £10.2m that Stoke City paid Huddersfield for Tom Ince a year ago.
Yorkshire’s top-flight mantle passed from Town to the Blades this summer and Chris Wilder sees McBurnie as central to the club’s hopes of staying up.
Having had a £15m bid rejected earlier this month, United are understood to have lodged a fresh offer that, with add-ons, could peak close to £20m
That is potentially great news for Bradford City, who have a 15 per cent sell-on clause as part of the 2015 transfer that took McBurnie to Swansea for an initial £250,000 that has since more or less doubled. The Bantams’ clause applies to any profit made by the Swans.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield head coach Jan Siewert has revealed that Billing had made it clear he wanted to leave the John Smith’s Stadium following the club’s relegation.
The 23-year-old has signed a long-term contract at Bournemouth after calling time on his six-year stay in the West Riding.
“Phil made it clear to me that he saw his future away from Huddersfield Town,” said Siewert. “We were open to that, but we made it clear that the club would not accept anything below the value we placed on him.
“At the same time, I want the players in our squad to be totally committed to what we are doing here and that is why Phil hasn’t been involved with the first team during pre-season.
“This transfer suits everyone and I genuinely wish Phil all the best for the future.”
Billing made 91 appearances and scored six goals for the Terriers. He was the club’s Young Player of the Year on several occasions, while last term saw the midfielder named Players’ Player of the Year.
He was not issued with a squad number for 2019-20.