Billy Sharp is continuing to prepare for Leeds United’s first summer friendly despite claims that Sheffield United are closing in on a deal to sign him.
Sharp trained with Leeds’ squad at Thorp Arch today amid reports that Sheffield United had tabled a £500,000 offer for the 29-year-old striker.
Sources at Elland Road are denying that any fee has been agreed for Sharp and the forward is expected to feature in United’s opening pre-season game at Harrogate Town on Friday.
Sharp’s future has been the subject of constant speculation this summer with Sheffield United and Wigan Athletic both interested in signing him.
His contract with Leeds has a year left to run and United could allow him to move on after adding Chris Wood and Lee Erwin to their group of strikers.
Sheffield United boss Nigel Adkins fuelled talk of a switch to Bramall Lane yesterday, telling the BBC: “Billy Sharp’s an excellent player who I’ve always admired and always liked.
“He’s a Leeds United player at this moment in time and that’s all I can say.”
Adkins worked previously with Sharp at Scunthorpe United, Southampton and Reading and the striker is a popular figure at Sheffield United having played there in two previous spells.
Wigan, however, are keen on landing him after their relegation from the Championship and the YEP understands that the DW Stadium is Sharp’s most likely destination if Leeds opt to sell him.
He was one of United’s most high-profile recruits last summer but failed to hold down a regular place in their line-up, starting 17 league games and scoring five goals.
Sheffield United’s interest in him heightened suggestions that Sharp might be used by Leeds to secure Blades winger Jamie Murphy, a player who United have been monitoring.
The two clubs are at odds over Murphy’s value, however, reducing the prospect of the 25-year-old Scot coming to Elland Road.
United head coach Uwe Rosler has made four additions to his squad since taking charge in May and Leeds remain in the market for a left winger, a holding midfielder and a second-choice goalkeeper.
Pescara midfielder Birkir Bjarnason - a player linked with Leeds for the past two months - is close to completing a move to Swiss side Basel.
Leeds are believed to admire the attacking midfielder, who once played under Rosler in Norway, but were always likely to invest in a more defensive player.