Sheffield United are poised to unveil John Lundstram, the former Everton midfielder, as their sixth summer signing after agreeing a fee with Oxford.
Pep Clotet, who took charge of the League One club earlier this summer, last night admitted defeat in his battle to retain Lundstram’s services following talks with the 23-year-old.
United are understood to have been monitoring Lundstram since gaining promotion to the Championship three months ago. Having received an offer - believed to be worth around £400,000 with add-ons - Clotet sanctioned his captain’s departure after admitting he is “keen on getting this opportunity now.”
United, who continue their preparations for the new season at Rotherham this evening, have been active in the transfer window with Richard Stearman, Ched Evans and George Baldock among those arriving at Bramall Lane.
Wilder has steadfastly refused to comment on the identity of his leading targets - “I’ll only talk about them when they pull on that red and white jersey” - but Clotet acknowledged Oxford have been backed into a corner by Lundstram’s refusal to sign a new contract.
“John Lundstram is an important player who can play in the Championship and he must go for the value that reflects that,” the Spaniard said. “It’s good for him and the club.”
If he thinks it’s time to move on, it’s his decision,” Clotet added. “He was in the last year of his contract.
Lundstram, a member of the squad which gained promotion from League Two last year, progressed through Goodison Park’s youth system before moving to the Kassam Stadium in 2015. Capped by England at youth and under-20 level, he has also represented Doncaster Rovers and Yeovil Town on loan.