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'It would be hard to turn Liverpool down' - O'Connell clinging to Reds dream

13:40 GMT+3 21/06/2019
Jack O'Connell Sheffield United 2018-19
A Merseyside native is enjoying his time at Sheffield United, but would welcome the opportunity to return to his roots at some stage in the future

Jack O’Connell is preparing for life in the Premier League with Sheffield United, but admits that he would find a move to Liverpool “hard to turn down”.

There has been no suggestion that the Reds are looking at the 25-year-old defender, but he is clinging to a transfer dream.

As a Merseyside native, O’Connell is a lifelong Liverpool supporter.

He has forged a successful career away from his roots, with top-tier football delivered during a productive spell at Bramall Lane, but O’Connell has made no secret of where his allegiances lie.

A man who has been with the Blades since 2016 told Sky Sports as he counts down to the days to the 2019-20 campaign: “All my family are Liverpool fans so we couldn't wait to find out when we played Liverpool and to face them on New Year's Day will be a special moment for me and my family.

“I'm a massive Liverpool fan and went to the Champions League final in Madrid - but couldn't really enjoy the game because I ended up analysing them as opposition next season.

“I'm guessing staying up is the main priority [for Sheffield United] but seeing Jordan Henderson lift the trophy gave me goosebumps, and I'd love it to be me one day.

“Obviously I am happy at Sheffield United. I've just signed a new contract and I've never thought about leaving, but my dream as a kid was to play for Liverpool and if they ever come knocking, although unlikely, it would be hard to turn them down.”

As well as harbouring domestic ambitions, O’Connell would also like to push himself into international contention with England at some stage.

He has represented his country at U-19 level in the past, while girlfriend Alex Greenwood is currently chasing down glory at the Women’s World Cup in France.

“I see a lot of fans talk about me playing for England but for me I'm just looking forward to testing myself at the highest level and proving myself against the top players,” added O’Connell.

Sheffield United, who are back in the Premier League after a 12-year absence, are set to open the new season with a trip to Bournemouth on August 10.