Sheffield United have been offered the chance to sign Joe Allen from Stoke City with the Welshman expected to come cheaper than Fulham’s Tom Cairney, as reported by the Sheffield Star.
Given the choice, Slavisa Jokanovic would jump at the chance to reunite with a player who captained his Fulham side to play-off glory in 2018.
Sealing a deal for Cairney, however, will be far from straightforward.
According to reports coming out of Yorkshire a few weeks ago, Sheffield United are pessimistic about Cairney’s potential arrival, with Fulham not exactly enamoured with the prospect of selling one of the finest midfielders the Championship has seen in recent years to a direct promotion rival.
Allen is hardly a like-for-like alternative – he’s more of a defensively minded player than Scott Parker’s strutting number ten – but his availability could appeal to a Blades side scouring the market for midfield reinforcements with Sander Berge expected to depart before August’s transfer deadline.
Sheffield United have also lost John Lundstram, with the reported Rangers and Crystal Palace target becoming a free agent.
Sheffield United look at Wales’ Euro 2020 star Joe Allen
The Star claims that, with 12 months left on Allen’s contract, Stoke are actively encouraging bids for a 31-year-old who set them back £13 million when he arrived from Liverpool in 2016. Stoke recently posted losses of £88m for the 2019/20 season and want to cut their wage bill.
Allen, who started in Wales’ Euro 2020 opener against Switzerland on Saturday, may not be everybody’s favourite footballer.
But you’d be hard pressed to find a teammate or manager who has a single bad word to say about a man who goes about his business with such selfless determination.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him,” said Gareth Bale during Wales’ stunning run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 (Guardian).
“I think he does the dirty work that maybe goes unnoticed. But for us, we know how vitally important he is and how amazing he’s played. In the squad, we appreciate him very much.
“Maybe he doesn’t get the headlines outside, but in the squad he gets them. He works his socks off every game and I’m sure he’ll go on to do incredible things in his career.”
In other news, Report: Tottenham set to lose out on 27-year-old target to Barcelona next week