Sheffield United close on Rhian Brewster transfer from Liverpool

Sheffield United are closing in on the signing of Liverpool's Rhian Brewster, with manager Chris Wilder confirming a deal is “down the line”.
TALENT: Rhian Brewster played for Liverpool in the Community ShieldTALENT: Rhian Brewster played for Liverpool in the Community Shield
TALENT: Rhian Brewster played for Liverpool in the Community Shield

Managers are reluctant to talk too much in public about specific transfers that have not been completed, so Wilder's openness about this deal is a positive sign for the Blades, who have been looking for two strikers who can add pace to their group throughout the transfer window.

Oliver Burke joined from West Bromwich Albion, but the Blades faced competition from Crystal Palace for forward Brewster, who had a successful half-season loan at Swansea City last season, scoring ten goals in 20 Championship appearances.

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The Eagles were apparently put off by Liverpool's insistence on a “buy-back clause” in the deal, but the Blades have been willing to accept it to get a £23.5m permanent transfer done.

"I can't confirm it's all been done but we have been in negotiations with Liverpool for a while,” said Wilder. “He has been on our radar and discussions between the player and the club are still ongoing so there's nothing to announce just at this minute but we are down the line and when it happens, I can confirm that. As we are at this particular time there's nothing over the line.”

Brewster played for Liverpool in the Community Shield, but has not featured in the competitive fixtures since.

Meanwhile, Sheffield United's only goal of the season has come in a League Cup tie at Burnley. They scored 39 goals last season, their first back in the Premier League – the joint third-lowest of a team to avoid relegation – despite finishing ninth.

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The Blades have lost three out of three in the League and Brewster's arrival should lift morale amongst fans even if Wilder insists the players do not need a pick-me-up.

"We're always trying to get better players into the football club and ones that improve the group,” he argued. “It's certainly a position I've looked at on reflection from last season and the chances we've created

“I'm not being disrespectful to our players in that area but it's an area we have to improve, be more clinical. We have to bring more competition into that area,

“It ticks boxes in terms of the types of forwards we need for different games. We can't just go with two right the way through.

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"All of the players it was their first season in the Premier League so difficult for them but on reflection we need to bring somebody in and we've had to work extremely hard to identify players.

"The players don't really need a boost because they understand the situation as I do, they're disappointed. Their reaction at the final whistle and in the changing room, I'm not surprised about. They're not jumping through hoops and thinking about what they're going to do later in the day so they don't need a lift but certainly bringing a better player into the group will improve us and help us to get results.”

Brewster needs to the deal to be completed by noon on Friday to feature at Arsenal on Sunday, but if that is not possible it would be a surprise not to see him in red-and-white stripes after the international break.

The Blades are still looking for a central defender to cover the absence of Jack O'Connell, ruled out for six months with a knee injury. They have until 11pm on Monday to complete overseas or Premier League transfers, or 5pm on the 16th to sign players from the Football League.

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