Sheffield United ‘beat Rangers to Auston Trusty signing’

Sheffield United are reportedly favourites to sign Arsenal centre-back Auston Trusty ahead of Rangers, with the Blades set to pay £5m for the American.

Sheffield United are reportedly poised to beat Rangers to the signing of defender Auston Trusty from Arsenal, with the Blades looking to further bolster their squad ahead of a Premier League return.

The 24-year-old impressed during his first season in the English game while on loan at Birmingham City last term, playing 44 Championship matches for John Eustace‘s side.

Trusty’s athleticism allowed him to adapt quickly to the rigours of second-tier football, helping Blues to a comfortable 17th-placed finish in the 2022-23 campaign.

The two-time USA international made the switch to the Emirates Stadium from Colorado Rapids in January 2022 before being loaned back to MLS for the first half of that calendar year, meaning that the American has played a lot of football over the past 18 months.

According to the Sheffield Star, Sheffield United are set to pip Rangers to the services of Trusty this summer, as Paul Heckingbottom aims to improve his defensive options before the new season.

Auston Trusty in action for Birmingham City in December 2022© Reuters

It is understood that the transfer of the centre-back will be a permanent one, meaning that the player’s association with Arsenal will come to an end after less than two years.

The report adds that the Blades will pay £5m to Mikel Arteta‘s Gunners for the privilege of bringing Trusty to Bramall Lane, with Heckingbottom needing a new left-sided defensive option following the retirement of Jack O’Connell.

It is believed that Rangers had a bid rejected earlier in the transfer window for the centre-back, and it appears that Michael Beale will have to focus on other targets ahead of the Scottish Premiership season starting this weekend.

As well as O’Connell, United have seen Ciaran Clark leave the building following his loan spell from Newcastle United in the 2022-23 term, meaning that Jack Robinson is the club’s only left-footed centre-back at this moment.

The arrival of Trusty would provide competition for Robinson, with the 24-year-old making the majority of his appearances for Birmingham on the left side of a back three, alongside Marc Roberts and Dion Sanderson.

Illiman Ndiaye in action for Sheffield United on October 4, 2022© Reuters

The Blades are preparing to have money to spend in the closing stages of this summer, with Iliman Ndiaye currently in France to finalise a five-year deal with Ligue 1 outfit Marseille.

The 23-year-old netted 14 goals and provided 10 assists for United last term as they earned automatic promotion from the Championship, and that impressive form is reportedly set to pocket the Yorkshire club over £14m.

Ndiaye was on the scoresheet for Heckingbottom’s charges as they beat Derby County in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, with George Baldock and new signing Anis Ben Slimane also making the net ripple in the East Midlands.

An intriguing clash with Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart awaits the Blades at Bramall Lane on Saturday, before their Premier League campaign commences with the visit of Roy Hodgson‘s Crystal Palace on August 12.

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