Sheffield United’s hopes of signing Ryan Gauld this summer have taken a blow after Southampton joined the race to sign the Scottish midfielder, with reports suggesting that he would prefer a move to St Mary’s.
Sheffield United were one of several sides including Norwich City, Brighton, Blackburn Rovers, Swansea City and Brentford to be linked with a move for the former Sporting Lisbon man recently.
However, the Daily Record have now claimed that Southampton have also registered an interest in the 25-year-old, who would be happy to join Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side in order to link up with Scottish compatriot and fellow former Dundee United man Stuart Armstrong.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed a superb campaign with SC Farense in the Portuguese top-flight but will be a free agent this summer when his contract at Estadio de São Luís expires, so it is no surprise that so many sides including the Blades are keen on signing him.
In 33 Liga NOS appearances this season, the Scottish midfielder has contributed an impressive nine goals and seven assists, earning a superb 7.19 average rating from WhoScored.
Considering this is more goals and assists than any Sheffield United player has managed this season, it is clear they need a player of Gauld’s ilk ahead of next season in the Championship, otherwise a return to the Premier League is looking extremely unlikely.
One of Gauld’s coaches at Farense was full of praise for him recently, dubbing him a “top player“, and considering he will be available on a free transfer, he looks to be a must-have for Sheffield United this summer if they want to improve their squad, so it is definitely a blow that an established Premier League side like Southampton have seemingly joined the race.
Therefore, current sporting director Jan van Winckel must act quickly if is going to be able to convince Gauld to make the switch to Bramall Lane this summer, as otherwise, it seems clear that he will be snapped up by another Premier League or Championship club.