Sheffield United ‘close to Anis Ben Slimane signing’

Sheffield United are reportedly hopeful of wrapping up the signing of Brondby’s Anis Ben Slimane, who completed a medical this week ahead of a £2.2m move to Bramall Lane.

Sheffield United have reportedly agreed a deal with Brondby for midfielder Anis Ben Slimane, with the Blades hopeful that their first signing of the summer can be confirmed soon.

The 22-year-old has played the entirety of his senior career to date at the Danish club, featuring 120 times and managing to score nine goals, helping the team to a Superligaen title in the 2020-21 term.

Despite being in the early stages of his career, Slimane has already gained extensive international experience for Tunisia, turning out 29 times for the Carthage Eagles since making his debut in September 2020.

The midfielder played twice during last year’s World Cup in Qatar during group-stage clashes with Denmark and eventual finalists France, although the youngster did not receive any game time in the knockout stages.

According to the Daily Mail, Sheffield United are hoping to wrap up the signing of Slimane within the next week as their Premier League opener against Crystal Palace on August 12 draws nearer.

Tunisia's Anis Ben Slimane, Dylan Bronn and Montassar Talbi wait as VAR reviews their penalty on January 12, 2022© Reuters

It is understood that the Blades and Brondby have agreed on a £2.2m deal for the Tunisian international, who further fuelled transfer speculation by being left out of his side’s pre-season trip to England.

The Boys from Vestegnen have organised friendly fixtures against Swansea City, Crystal Palace and fellow Danish outfit B 93 as they prepare to fight for the Superligaen crown next season.

It is believed that the 22-year-old arrived in England separately from his current teammates in order to complete a medical on Monday ahead of a move to the Premier League.

The report also claims that former Bournemouth man Chris Francis has been training with Paul Heckingbottom‘s men over the past week, as the defender looks to find a new employer following his departure from the Vitality Stadium at the end of last season.

The 28-year-old is said to also be attracting interest from Blackpool and Sheffield Wednesday, and he reportedly featured in a friendly match for third-tier side Charlton Athletic last week.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom on April 7, 2023© Reuters

It is understood that Heckingbottom will have to dip into the free transfer and loan market this summer, in the knowledge that he has just £20m available to spend on permanent signings.

The Blades are said to be looking to bring in Manchester United attacker Amad Diallo on loan, with the Ivorian impressing during a temporary spell at Championship club Sunderland during the 2022-23 term.

A separate report coming from the Sheffield Star claims that Brondby have inserted a hefty sell-on clause of 20 per cent into their deal with Sheffield United for Slimane, meaning they are set to profit from any future sale of the midfielder.

Heckingbottom’s charges begin their pre-season schedule with a trip to non-league Chesterfield on Saturday, before meetings with Estoril, Rotherham United, Girona and Derby County wrap up a busy July.

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