‘His days are numbered’ - Sheff Utd insight on Bristol City transfer target

Chris Holt from The Star gives the Sheffield United lowdown on a summer window transfer target for Bristol City
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Bristol City could be presented with the chance to go back in for Brighton midfielder Reda Khadra. The 21-year-old chose Sheffield United over a move to Ashton Gate, and is on loan with the Blades until the end of the season.

Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom however has spoken about the German Under-21 international potentially being sent back to Sussex. The Yorkshire club are seeking a replacement, and have already started looking at options, with Khadra's days at Bramall Lane seemingly numbered.

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Nigel Pearson never usually goes public on transfer targets, and keeps things close to his chest, but he was happy to open up on his pursuit of the midfielder in November. Khadra was hauled off after 30-minutes with the score goalless at Ashton Gate in November, but City were on top and controlling the midfield. He was taken off, and ultimately United won the game, but it was a key moment that Khadra was brought off.

In the post-match press conference, Pearson was asked what he thought about the substitution, and later revealed that he was interested in him. The 59-year-old went on to double down his interest, and describe what it is that he liked about the player, which would have made him want to work with him at City.

The January transfer window is now here, and City are now scouring the loan market to try and find reinforcements that will help them firstly get away from the Championship relegation zone, and then up the table. Attack isn't really a major area of concern for City, but sometimes a player being available, whatever the position is hard to turn down.

To get an insight into what Khadra has been like at Sheffield United, why it hasn't worked out and if a return to Brighton is likely, we spoke to Chris Holt from The Star, about everything Khadra.

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What's Reda Khadra's current situation at Sheffield United?

Simply put, it looks as though his days are numbered. It appears as though Khadra has made it clear that he would prefer to leave United if he is not going to be playing a lot more regularly than he has been and Paul Heckingbottom hinted that Brighton are on the same page as far as that's concerned. However, United still hold all the cards and they won't let him leave unless they can bring in a replacement.

What has Khadra's lack of game time been down to?

While no one at United will say it explicitly, there was a genuine fear that they could lose Sander Berge in the summer so when Khadra became available they jumped at the chance to bring him in on loan. Berge never left, though, and suddenly Khadra was down the pecking order and he became a bit part player from the start. There were some exciting signs early on when coming off the bench that he might be able to force his way in but when the starts came around he never really grasped the opportunity.

What kind of player is Khadra from what you've seen? Does he have the potential to be a 'maverick' or a talisman?

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When he's on it, he's a hugely exciting player who can get supporters off their seats with his skill and the way he runs at defences. A 'maverick' would probably be a decent description. You wouldn't expect him to be doing a lot of defensive work but of you can surround him with players like that then he could thrive in most teams in the Championship.

Bristol City play a similar formation to Sheffield United, a 3-5-2, is the formation another reason why he hasn't been able to get in? Where does he/ did he fit in at SUFC?

I think he could play as a 10 or on either side of a front three, however if Bristol City are going to put an attacking midfielder in the hole behind the front two then he would do well in there. He needs something of a free reign to drift into gaps on the pitch and, again, if you have players around him doing the dirty stuff then he's capable of giving a team that spark.

Nigel Pearson described Khadra as 'high maintenance' and a 'bit of a character' but is he actually like that?

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He doesn't appear to be so. There certainly doesn't appear to have been any major fall-out with anyone at United and it's probably only natural that he should ask the manager if he's going to get playing and if not can he move on? I think the way he plays gives the impression of someone who might be hard work, but I think that would be unfair to suggest.

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