Sheffield United Digest: Jokanovic makes admission over Arsenal, Aston Villa target Berge; Jack O'Connell, Kean Bryan latest
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Speaking publicly for the first time since officially taking charge at Bramall Lane, the Serb admitted he plans to “refresh” a squad which was relegated from the Premier League last season.
Jokanovic appeared to acknowledge that Berge’s future at the club is in doubt amid interest from Napoli and Arsenal. But like Ramsdale - another target for Mikel Arteta’s side - he will seek to convince the midfielder his career will be best served by remaining in South Yorkshire next term.
“I never expect players to leave,” Jokanovic said. “I know there is talk about two and they are two of my best players. So of course I don’t want to see them go." READ FULL STORY HERE
A low-key start for Slav but the signs look good for the Blades
Slavisa Jokanović made Sheffield United history exactly five weeks before he sat down at his new home of Bramall Lane on Friday evening to face the assembled media from television, written press and radio.
The first foreign permanent manager in over 130 years of existence, Jokanović’s appointment represents a new era for Sheffield United football club and as far as unveilings go, this was pretty low key. It could be. Jokanović’s record, promoted with both Watford and Fulham from this level, speaks for itself. READ FULL STORY HERE
Slavisa Jokanovic s big Jack O'Connell update
Slavisa Jokanović, the new Sheffield United manager, admits he doesn’t expect Jack O’Connell to play a part in the Blades’ pre-season schedule as the defender battles for fitness after undergoing knee surgery.
The 27-year-old has not played since the beginning of last season, when he was forced to go under the knife to correct a long-standing knee issue. Without one of their key players, if not the most influential, United struggled badly last season and were relegated back to the Championship after two seasons in the top flight. READ FULL STORY HERE
'I am here because of you,' Jokanovic tells his Blades players
The club’s social media team had been doing their best to whip-up the excitement, posting a steady stream of pictures on its official Instagram account.
And at 6pm this evening, exactly five weeks to the day since his appointment was announced, Slavisa Jokanovic appeared for the first time in public as Sheffield United manager.
As you would expect from someone of the Serb’s pedigree and calibre, he produced a consummate performance - grabbing the attention of those invited with his thoughts on the game, the challenge ahead and why, despite being courted by countless other teams, he decided this was the right one for him.
“The team, and the fact I think we can be successful and they can make me successful,” Jokanovic explained. “That is my principal reason for taking the job." READ FULL STORY HERE
Update on Kean Bryan’s future amid West Brom links
Kean Bryan is still in talks with Sheffield United over remaining at Bramall Lane, after the Blades tabled an offer to the former Manchester City youngster at the end of last season.
The defender, who joined United from City, made his Premier League debut for the Blades last season in the absence of Jack O’Connell and caught the eye with some impressive performances, including scoring at Old Trafford in a memorable victory over Manchester United.
The defender has not yet agreed a new deal with United but has also not rejected the one tabled. He has been training away from Bramall Lane in pre-season, but his United career may not yet be over. READ FULL STORY HERE
History-maker signs first pro deal at Bramall Lane
Antwoine Hackford, the young Sheffield United striker, has signed his first professional contract with the Blades.
The youngster, who became United’s youngest-ever Premier League player when he came off the bench away at Crystal Palace last season, was a regular in United’s youth sides last season and has now put pen to paper on a professional deal. READ FULL STORY HERE
Slater to make feelings known to Slav
Regan Slater will tell Slavisa Jokanovic that staying at Sheffield United and fighting for a first team place is his preferred option this summer, despite attracting interest from a number of other Championship clubs.
Slater is scheduled to sit down with Jokanovic next week after the Serb, who officially took charge of United on Thursday, has enjoyed an opportunity to assess every member of his squad in the flesh.
The youngster appeared destined to leave South Yorkshire earlier this summer when Hull City, where he impressed on loan last term, made an approach for his services.
But Jokanovic personally intervened to block the sale, insisting he wanted to watch Slater in training before deciding whether or not to retain his services or allow him to move on. Preston North End and Charlton Athletic are also thought to be interested. READ FULL STORY HERE