Blades in talks with Lita
Blades in negotiations with Reading striker after bid is accepted
By Richard Bailey. Last Updated: January 13, 2009 3:29pm
Lita: In negotiations with Blades
Sheffield United have had a bid for Reading striker Leroy Lita accepted as the club look to replace James Beattie.
Beattie's departure, following his switch to Stoke City for a fee that could rise up to £3.5million, has left a big void at Bramall Lane.
The former Southampton and Everton man was the Blades' top scorer this season with 12 league goals and manager Kevin Blackwell has moved fast to try and replace the striker.
Lita has been out of favour at Reading and has found himself loaned out to Championship rivals Charlton and Norwich over the past 12 months.
The 24-year-old has recently returned to the Madejski Stadium after his successful loan period at Norwich where he scored seven goals in 16 appearances.
He is still wanted by Norwich, but came off the bench to score Reading's final goal in their 4-0 win over Watford last Friday.
"The club has had a seven-figure offer accepted by Reading for Leroy Lita but at this stage are unable to reach an agreement with his agent," a Sheffield United statement read.
The club also explained why the decision to sell Beattie was made.
"The club is not immune to circumstances and needs to have a robust business plan, both on and off the field, to give the manager and the team the best opportunity for long term, ongoing business.
"The loss of parachute payments will correspond with a worldwide recession, and the chance to transfer our highest paid player can only happen when a willing buyer puts in an offer.
"Whenever this bid came it would be difficult, both for the club and its supporters, but it had to be considered.
"With us still a Championship club and facing a massive drop in football income the wage cost of one player would have been 35 per cent of the projected budget."