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Southampton and Sheffield United won’t have to face Marseille in their battle to sign Club Brugge forward Emmanuel Dennis, L’OM coach Andre Villas-Boas has told Telefoot.

Chris Wilder isn’t a man who tends to keep his feelings to himself so it was no surprise when the Blades boss admitted his desire to sign a new centre-forward this week, confirming Arsenal’s Leon Balogun and Liverpool wonderkid Rhian Brewster are in his sights.

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A permanent deal for Brewster is likely to set Sheffield United back about £20 million – a fee close to the one Brugge are demanding for Dennis (Walfoot).

The Nigerian may have no experience of English football but he does have a Jupiler League title under his belt – not to mention European strikes against Real Madrid and Manchester United.

Southampton are also keen on Dennis, with Ralph Hasenhuttl hoping to ease the burden on Danny Ings.

Voetbal Krant reports the Saints could use forgotten centre-back Wesley Hoedt as part of a player-plus-swap deal with Brugge.

And, while there’s a long way to go, at least Sheffield United and Southampton won’t have a European powerhouse challenging them for Dennis’ signature.

Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

“Emmanuel Dennis? No it’s not true. I’ve never heard that in my life,” Villas-Boas said when asked about Marseille’s reported interest in the youngster.

“I never wanted him. He was never on my priority list (of targets), nor on my second list. Other names, yes, but not him.”

With his raw pace and tendency to turn up on the biggest occasions, Dennis is just the kind of raw, unpolished diamond Hasenhuttl and Wilder love to get their mitts on.

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