Sheffield United’s hopes of signing Ryan Gauld this summer have taken a blow after it was revealed that SC Farense have triggered an extension in his contract, meaning he won’t be available on a free transfer as initially thought.
According to TEAMtalk, a number of Premier League and Championship clubs including Sheffield United are considering a move for the former Dundee United youngster this summer.
It had appeared as if the 25-year-old would be free to join any interested side on a Bosman transfer but it has been reported by Portuguese news outlet O Jogo that SC Farense had an option to extend his contract by another year, which they have unsurprisingly triggered ahead of the summer.
However, it still seems extremely likely that Gauld will depart considering Farense were relegated from the Portuguese top-flight this season, with the report from O Jogo suggesting that his release clause is just €4m (£3.5m).
Gauld moved from Dundee United to Sporting Lisbon when he was 18-years-old and whilst things wouldn’t work out for the youngster at Estadio José Alvalade, as he made just five appearances, he has emphasised his quality during his time with Farense.
In 71 appearances for the Lions of Faro, the Scottish midfielder has contributed 20 goals and 12 assists, so it is easy to see why he is attracting interest from the Premier League.
His performances this season were particularly impressive, as he managed nine goals and seven assists in 33 league appearances, helping him earn a superb 7.19 rating from WhoScored.
Given that Sheffield United were the lowest scorers in the Premier League this season with a shocking 20 goals in 38 league fixtures, it is clear that they will need to add some serious attacking quality this summer if they want to secure an immediate return to the top-flight and Gauld could have been the perfect link between midfield and attack.
Unfortunately, now that the “fantastic” 25-year-old is not available on a free transfer, it will be much harder for Blades sporting director Jan van Winckel to do a deal for Gauld this summer, which is a big blow to their hopes of improving the squad ahead of next season.