Sheffield United set to report back before Slavisa Jokanovic officially checks in

Sheffield United’s players will report back for pre-season training next week, three days before new manager Slavisa Jokanovic officially takes charge.

By James Shield
Monday, 21st June 2021, 3:53 pm

The Serb’s reign at Bramall Lane is scheduled to begin on July 1, when his contract with Qatari club Al-Gharafa expires.

But those members of the United’s first team squad not on duty at the European Championships are being summoned to the Steelphalt Academy 72 hours earlier, when they will begin working on their fitness ahead of the new Championship campaign after being relegated from the Premier League.

Although preparations for next term will not begin in earnest until Jokanovic’s arrival, the former Yugoslavia and Chelsea midfielder has helped plan large parts of United’s warm-up programme and given his seal of approval to those areas which were designed before his appointment last month.

Slavisa Jokanovic will arrive in South Yorkshire on July 1: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Speaking before Jokanovic was named as Chris Wilder’s permanent replacement, Paul Heckingbottom, United’s then interim manager, confirmed a series of strategic and logistical decisions had already been made in order to “help the new man come in and hit the ground running.”

As The Star recently revealed, two of Jokanovic’s most trusted colleagues are set to join him at United, with fitness coach Rafael Cristobal likely to be one. The Spaniard has previously held positions with Las Palmas, Levante, Alaves and Real Valladolid.

After undergoing testing and over screening procedures, United’s first team squad are then expected to leave South Yorkshire for a week long training camp. Due to travel restrictions imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, some influential figures behind the scenes are known to have favoured remaining in the UK. However, Jokanovic is known to prefer travelling abroad for warm-weather sessions so this remains an option.

Due to the global health situation and different approaches being followed by individual governments, United have yet to confirm the identities of any of their opponents this summer.

John Fleck, Rhys Norrington-Davies and Aaron Ramsdale will be granted extra time off when they return from Euro 2020, Wales, who called-up Norrington-Davies for the tournament, have already reached the knockout phase while Fleck and Ramsdale will be on duty for Scotland and England respectively tonight, during the final round of Group D games.