Filip Uremovic: New signing could stay at Sheffield United beyond this season if union gets its way

Sheffield United could retain Croatia defender Filip Uremovic’s services beyond the end of the season if FIFPRO, the world players’ union, are successful in persuading FIFA to impose tougher sanctions on Russian clubs following their country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Thursday, 24th March 2022, 3:46 pm

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Paul Heckingbottom, the United manager, confirmed the 25-year-old’s arrival at Bramall Lane yesterday after his contract with Rubin Kazan was temporarily suspended.

That is permitted under the terms of a directive, issued by football’s most powerful governing body, in response to recent events in eastern Europe - where Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, recently declared war on its neighbouring state.

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Although Uremovic, who has been capped at under-21 and senior level, is scheduled to return to Kazan when the Championship campaign concludes, FIFPRO is lobbying officials in Zurich to allow overseas players registered with Russian teams to effectively declare themselves as free agents.

If they are successful, it would pave the way for United to offer Uremovic a longer term deal this summer, should his move to South Yorkshire prove a success.

Revealing he had watched Heckingbottom’s men in action against Barnsley last weekend, the former Cibalia centre-half said: “This is a really big club and it is an honour and a privilege to now have an opportunity to play here. I hope we will achieve our goals this season.”

"It was a quick deal,” he added. “I got an offer from United and am very happy to be here.”

Paul Heckingbottom is delighted to sign the Croatian: Darren Staples / Sportimage

United entered the international break ranked fifth in the table after beating Poya Asbaghi’s men 2-0, thanks to goals from Sander Berge and Morgan Gibbs-White.

Uremovic’s agreement with Kazan, who are managed by ex-Hull City coach Leonid Slutsky, is set to expire in 2024 according to the latest data available.

“Filip is someone out recruitment team know all about, they’ve watched him since he played for Croatia’s under-21’s but financially he’s always been out of the club’s reach,” Heckingbottom said. “Unfortunately, because of the terrible situation between Ukraine and Russia, players have had contracts suspended and after someone contacted me about him, we spoke and thankfully he sees this as a great place to come and play in the short-term.”

Filip Uremovic of Croatia has joined Sheffield United from Rubin Kazan: Jonathan Moscrop/Sportimage