Sheffield United have been linked with a shock transfer, with reports from Germany suggesting that they are keen to sign Franck Ribery.
The former France international winger is available as a free agent with his contract at Bayern Munich set to expire, but despite being 36-years-old is not looking to hang up his boots just yet. And it could be that he finally moves to the Premier League, albeit with a club you would never have expected him to join.
It is no secret that Chris Wilder is looking to add top level experience to his squad having been promoted from the Championship last season. Signing Ribery would certainly tick that box, as he is a player who won 23 trophies in 12 years playing for Bayern Munich including the Champions League and one who has 81 caps for France.
With him being available on a free it could certainly prove an attractive proposition for the South Yorkshire club who aren't the wealthiest of club's in the Premier League. He would have been on a sizeable wage in Germany though and United would probably have to break their wage structure if they were to bring him to Bramall Lane.
Odds suggest Ribery to Sheffield United is unlikely despite links
However, despite the reports bookmakers still consider it unlikely that the iconic winger will be lining up in red and white stripes at Bramall Lane next season.
Indeed William Hill are offering odds of 16/1 for the Frenchman to sign for the Blades, with several other destinations available at a shorter price. It is also thought that he would prefer to move to a 'major European club' which would effectively rule the Blades out of the race.
In truth it does seem like an unrealistic signing, and not only because of the stature of Sheffield United. Wilder has created a fantastic dressing room atmosphere at Bramall Lane which features players who are all from either the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland and the majority of them have worked their way up from lower leagues.
It seems unlikely that Ribery would really fit into their squad from a non-playing point of view, plus when you consider that he is a winger and Wilder plays a 3-5-2 system with no natural wingers it is difficult to see where he would even play in the line-up if he did sign.
We are of the opinion that this is something of a non-starter. Wilder is a grounded manager who knows his and the clubs limits and he is unlikely to believe that he could sign Ribery. Instead, we can see him chasing some top talent from the Championship such as Oliver McBurnie, Ollie Watkins and Jay Rodriguez, all of whom have already been linked with the Blades this summer.
There are also reports suggesting that he has already received offers from clubs in both Australia and Qatar. In fact a move to any club in the Australian A-League is currently considered his most likely choice at the moment with William Hill offering odds of 3/1 for him to make that move.
Full Franck Ribery transfer odds:
(All odds taken from William Hill)
- Any A-League Club - 3/1
- Any MLS Club - 4/1
- Any Chinese Super League Club - 4/1
- Benfica - 5/1
- Ajax - 10/1
- Marseille - 12/1
- PSV - 12/1
- Sheffield United - 16/1
- Manchester United - 16/1
- FC Groningen - 16/1