Sheffield United are poised to make a major breakthrough in the transfer market after adding Chris Basham, the Blackpool midfielder, to their list of targets.
The Star understands that United are among a host of clubs thought to be monitoring the 25-year-old who made 40 appearances for the Championship side last term.
With Andy Butler poised to be unveiled as Nigel Clough’s third summer signing before the end of the week, the United manager’s decision to investigate the possibility of recruiting Basham could represent the beginning of a new phase in his overhaul of Bramall Lane’s first team squad.
As this newspaper recently revealed, Clough emerged as the front-runner for Butler’s services after the vastly-experienced centre-half announced his decision to leave Walsall during the close season.
Aged 30, Butler is also known to have interested Scunthorpe and Doncaster Rovers but negotiations with United gathered pace following the arrival of Marc McNulty and Jamal Campbell-Ryce from Livingston and Notts County respectively.
Although it remains unclear whether Clough has made a formal proposal to Basham and his representatives, sources close to Bloomfield Road claim the player, who cost over £1m when he arrived from Bolton Wanderers in 2010, views United as a potentially attractive destination following their strong finish to the previous campaign.
Clough, appointed in October, led them from 21st to seventh in the League One table and into the semi-finals of the FA Cup where they were eventually beaten by Hull. United have been linked with a loan move for Derby defender Mark O’Brien.