EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Kieran Dowell is close to joining Sheffield United on a January loan from Everton, Football Insider sources understands.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard had confirmed his interest in landing the attacking midfield goal machine earlier this week as he looks to bolster his squad for the second half of the season.

However, a well-placed source has told Football Insider that Sheffield United are in pole position to land England Under-21 international Dowell ahead of the Light Blues and are close to agreeing terms.

Blades boss Chris Wilder is keen to bring in a creative attacker during the January transfer window to boost his side’s Premier League promotion bid and believes Dowell fits the bill.

Everton are prepared to give the green light for Dowell to go out on loan again as he is unlikely to break into Marco Silva’s Premier League plans.

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Sheffield United are currently in fifth spot in the Championship table, seven points off the automatic promotion places, and the club’s board are ready to back Wilder in the January window.

Dowell impressed in the Championship last season during a loan spell at Nottingham Forest, scoring 10 goals in all competitions from 43 appearances, with nine of those strikes coming in the league.

In other Merseyside giants news, it can be REVEALED the club are plotting a move to sign a Leeds United sensation.