Football

What Oli McBurnie said about Sheffield United’s contract situation amid Rangers links

The former Swansea City man is showing the form this season that persuaded United to make him their record £20m signing after being promoted to the Premier League, scoring nine goals in his last 15 appearances after ending a long run unmarked early in the campaign.

The initial contract McBurnie signed at Bramall Lane in the summer of 2019 is due to expire next summer, with Rangers, a club the Scotland international has made no secret of his love for, among whom they have been credited with potential interest if the 26th – years keep going.

“It really does [feel like home]”, McBurnie, who underwent surgery for his hernia problem on Monday, told The Star. “I had the conversation with my lady the other day, I really enjoy it. The fans are great with me, I love the guys and I love the coaching staff. I really feel stable and I think that’s one thing for me; When I’m established, you see the best side of me. It was the same when I was at Swansea, I felt stable and it felt like everything was a part of me.

“I felt like I was at home and then when I don’t have to worry about any of that, I can show who I am as a footballer. And I feel like now, this particular year, this is my home and I feel very comfortable here. And that brings out the best in me in terms of football.”

Oli McBurnie says he feels at home at Sheffield United as he discusses the possibility of extending his stay at Bramall Lane beyond the summer: Darren Staples / Sportimage

Although not officially confirmed, some may interpret that last comment as an admission that McBurnie’s future at Bramall Lane depends on which division they play in next season. Heckingbottom’s side entered the World Cup break second in the table after victory at Cardiff City last time out, but has as many as 16 players whose contracts or loan spells are set to expire next summer.

Although United are expected to have options in their favor on some of those expiring deals, the situation puts huge pressure on the club’s negotiating team as they look to avoid a mass exodus from Bramall Lane in the summer. Players who are in the last six months of their contract can negotiate pre-contract agreements with clubs abroad, including, in the case of United, Scotland.

Oli McBurnie is loving life at Sheffield United: Lexy Ilsley/Sportimage

Beyond the summer, some of United’s key (and most sellable) men are also dangerously close to the end of their contracts. Sander Berge, Iliman Ndiaye, George Baldock and John Egan are among the players scheduled to become free agents in the summer of 2024.

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