Sheffield United are reportedly set to sign Nottingham Forest’s Ben Osborn.
Osborn, 24, appeared to be struggling to retain his place in the team just before Aitor Karanka’s departure, but was highly-rated by Martin O’Neill and featured heavily in the latter stages of the season.
There’s no doubt that Osborn has been a key player for the Reds over the last few years. He made 39 appearances in the Championship last season, contributing one goal and five assists. That isn’t a groundbreaking return, but he has been a valued member of the team.
Now, Sheffield United are thought to be keen on signing Osborn, with Chris Wilder seemingly interested in bolstering his midfield options this summer.
Wilder recently told the Sheffield Star: “We’re not killing anyone, that’s the market we’re in, players out of the Championship who want to prove a point in the Premier League.”
Osborn has made over 200 appearances for the Reds since arriving at the City Ground in 2003. It’s fair to say that he’s more than proved he is good enough at this level.
The 24-year-old does fit into the criteria that the Blades are looking for. The Sheffield Star’s report states that the midfielder is ‘attracted by the prospect of performing at the highest level’.
Osborn has been ever-present for the Reds in recent years, but if Forest can get a sizeable fee for a player out of contract next summer, they may well be right to sell.
Selling Osborn would be more appealing than cashing in on the likes of Joe Lolley or João Carvalho, who could be worth huge amounts in the future, whereas Osborn may be at the peak of his value.
Sheffield United have Premier League football to offer, which could turn Osborn’s head quite easily. He may feel that he has given the Reds everything he can and that it’s time for a new challenge.
The Sheffield Star believe the two clubs are now in ‘advanced talks’. They believe that an agreement is ‘expected to be finalised shortly’. If a deal is completed, Osborn would become the Blades’ fourth signing of the summer.