Sheffield United have been dealt a huge blow in their bid to bring Ryan Gauld to Bramall Lane this summer.
That’s according to a report by The Scottish Sun, who claim that, despite the general belief that the 25-year-old attacking midfielder will become a free agent upon the expiry of his SC Farense contract at the end of the month, the Portuguese side’s president Joao Rodrigues believes Gauld is actually contracted for a further year.
The report goes on to state that the £4.5m-rated man’s representatives are confident the midfielder will be leaving Farense in the coming days, as they claim Gauld has not signed a contract extension with the club, however, if the recently relegated Liga NOS side can prove the Scot is still under contract next season, they will demand a significant transfer fee for his services this summer.
With Sheffield United being one of a host of clubs reported to be interested in a move for Gauld in the summer transfer window, should it turn out that a fee would be required to land the midfielder, Slavisa Jokanovic will undoubtedly be livid.
Indeed, the 25-year-old’s form in the top flight of Portuguese football would very much appear to indicate that he would be a fantastic signing for the Blades, with Gauld scoring nine goals, providing seven assists and creating a whopping 13 big chances for his teammates over his 33 Liga NOS appearances last season.
These returns saw the player whom Willie Miller dubbed “unstoppable” earn a highly impressive seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.36, ranking him as Farense’s best performer in the Primeira Liga last term.
As such, with Jokanvoic looking to build a side in the summer transfer window that is capable of going on to secure an immediate return to the Premier League next season, the attacking threat and creativity the signing of Gauld would have brought to the club would have undoubtedly provided the Blades with a huge boost to their chances of going on to achieve this feat.
However, if Farense are indeed entitled to a transfer fee for the midfielder this summer, it could well rule United out of a move for the Scot, something that would be an incredibly frustrating outcome for all involved with the club.