Sheffield United plot move for Rochdale star Ethan Brierley

By Pete O'Rourke, Transfer Correspondent

25th Jan, 2023 | 12:35pm

Sources: Sheffield United plot move for Rochdale star Ethan Brierley

Sheffield United are plotting a move for Rochdale sensation Ethan Brierley after taking him on trial, sources have told Football Insider.

The Blades are hoping to steal a march on several Premier League and Championship clubs by agreeing a deal for the highly-rated midfielder.

Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom is getting a closer look at Brierley in training by inviting him as a trialist before deciding whether or not to make an offer for the 19-year-old.

Sheffield United have been placed under a transfer embargo but are looking at ways to try and do a deal for Brierley who is out of contract at Rochdale this summer.

Brierley made headlines at 15 years old when he was named on the bench for Dale’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against Newcastle in the 2019/20 season.

The teenager has made over 30 appearances for Rochdale’s first team since breaking through from the academy and is regarded as one of the best young talents in the Football League.

His temporary trial at Sheffield United is not his first either, with Brierley previously spending a trial period with Manchester City.

Brierley has also enjoyed a loan spell at Spennymoor Town after being sent out to gain more experience by Rochdale.

The young midfielder started his loan spell in March 2022 and made seven appearances and scored one goal before he was recalled by Dale just a month later on 29 April.

Since returning to the Crown Oil Arena, Brierley has been a regular member of Rochdale’s matchday squads, making 11 League Two appearances this season

In other news, Football Insider sources reveal Sunderland, Blackburn and Middlesbrough are all leading the race to sign Leeds youngster Joe Gelhardt