Sheffield United beat-off competition from a number of clubs, including Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers, to sign Motherwell defender Ben Heneghan.
The 23-year-old became Chris Wilder’s ninth summer signing after agreeing a long-term contract at Bramall Lane and had also been linked with Sunderland and Rangers before moving to South Yorkshire.
Heneghan, who started his career with Everton, was the subject of a £250,000 bid from Rovers earlier this week but admitted United’s offer, believed to be worth £150,000 more, was impossible to resist.
“I am obviously really pleased to be joining such a big club like Sheffield United in the English Championship, but I leave Fir Park with a heavy heart,” he said. “I’ve also enjoyed a great relationship with the supporters and I want to wish them, and everyone at Motherwell, all the very best for the future.
“I’ve loved my time in Scotland and the people at the club have been first class with me from the moment I walked through the door. It has been a great opportunity.”
Heneghan joined Stephen Robinson’s side last summer and quickly established a reputation as one of the division’s best young centre-halves. Having scored against Rangers on the opening weekend of the new Scottish Premiership campaign, reports north of the border claimed he could be set for a move to Ibrox. Heneghan made his 50th and final appearance for Motherwell against Heart of Midlothian six days ago.
“Ben has been excellent for the football club,” Robinson said. “He’s a top footballer and a brilliant lad. On behalf of everyone at Motherwell, I want to wish him all the very best of luck going forward.”
Heneghan played alongside his new United team mate John Lundstram at Goodison Park before moving north of the border following spells with Stoke City and Chester.
Rovers first began monitoring the former England C international during that spell at Deva Stadium, where scouts from Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley and Hull City were also known to be tracking his progress.