Sheffield United are close to sealing a deal to sign Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster as they prepare to face Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, who has strong admiration for the Blades.
A deal worth £23.5million has reportedly been agreed by Sheffield United and Liverpool, who would retain a sell-on clause on Brewster along with a buyback agreement that will be valid for three years.
Blades boss Chris Wilder could not confirm the deal was done to sign the 20-year-old when he spoke ahead of Sunday’s away Premier League match at Arsenal, but suggested talks were at a late stage.
“We have been in negotiations with Liverpool for a while, he has been on our radar and discussions between the player and the club are still ongoing,” he said.
“We are down the line and when that happens I can confirm it. We are always trying to bring better players into the group.
“I looked at last season and we have to improve in that area, we have to be more clinical and bring in more competition at the top of the pitch.
“The players are as disappointed as me with the start [to this season] – they don’t need a lift but bringing a better player into the group will improve us.”
Despite Sheffield United having zero points from their opening three Premier League games, Arteta has long been impressed with their methods.
“Incredible,” he said of the job Wilder did when they finished ninth last season.
“I start to analyse his team two years to understand some of the things he was doing and I think him and the coaching staff have done a really, really good job.”
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Arteta added: “Not just for the way the play because it is a very clear style, but for the culture they have created around the club, this feeling that you can sense around the team and how they compete.
“I think it is remarkable what they have done. I was told by someone that we had to have a look at them, and I always like to see different trends, different ways of playing, formations, structures, patterns.
“I was impressed with some of the things they were doing. It is always good to have this information.
“The margins in the league of winning, drawing and losing are really small and the details are crucial, but they have generated big chances every game and they’ve been really unlucky in my opinion not to get anything out of those games.
“The season they had, the way they have evolved as a team since they joined the Premier League, has been unbelievable, the work that the manager has done with the resources they have is remarkable.
“We know how difficult it is to play against them and need to be really alert – we have to play at our best again.”
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