Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic and The Blades take a big policy decision in the transfer market

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Sheffield United will use the loan market to sign players who might otherwise be beyond their financial reach this summer, as new manager Slavisa Jokanovic attempts to propel them back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Although Bramall Lane’s board of directors have granted permission for the Serb to make several permanent additions, with an attacking midfielder known to be a priority, the majority of their business is likely to focus on temporary acquisitions after being relegated from the top-flight last season.

Jokanovic, who steered both Watford and Fulham out of the second tier before taking up a position with Al-Gharafa in Qatar, personally approved the tactic during his discussion with United owner HRH Prince Andullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud prior to officially taking charge last week.

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“We need to be a little bit patient,” Jokanovic said. “At the same time, we are looking at the loan market too. That’s a little bit cheaper. Not much, but it can be.

Slavisa Jokanovic has taken charge of Sheffield United: Alex Livesey/Getty ImagesSlavisa Jokanovic has taken charge of Sheffield United: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Slavisa Jokanovic has taken charge of Sheffield United: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

“It is the club’s opinion that we need some fresh blood.”

As United attempt to soften the financial blow of losing their PL status, with the effects felt even more acutely because of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, Jokanovic’s track record of brokering successful loans helped make him the standout candidate for a vacancy created by Chris Wilder’s departure in March.

Aleksander Mitrovic, Lucas Piazon, Matt Targett and Oliver Norwood, now of United, were among the players he signed on a temporary basis during Fulham’s climb out of the second tier in 2018.

Jokanovic, who enjoyed a spell with Chelsea towards the end of his own playing career, is known to still boast contacts at Stamford Bridge, where one of the most successful youth academies in Europe is located.

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“We are looking at refreshing things, I think that’s needed and so do others as well,” Jokanovic continued. “But I don’t think there needs to be major changes because we already have some very good people here.”

Jokanovic has also confirmed he will attempt to persuade Sander Berge, the Norway international, to remain in South term despite attracting interest from both Napoli and Arsenal, who are also monitoring United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.