Pictured: Sheffield United's players, including teenage defender, work up a sweat in Spain ahead of Championship opener against Birmingham next month

Sheffield United’s players are hard at work in Spain as they continue their pre-season preparations ahead of their Championship opener against Birmingham City at Bramall Lane next month.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 2:25 pm
Slavisa Jokanovic speaks to his players on their pre-season camp in Malaga

United were forced to change their plans for pre-season, after their planned trip to Portugal was scuppered by the government’s Covid-19 travel rules.

United were scheduled to face SC Braga, managed by former Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal, at the weekend, which has now been replaced with a friendly against Europa Point FC of Gibraltar at 6pm UK time on Saturday.

The Blades also confirmed three new members of staff on their trip. Chema Sanz, the former Valencia coach, has joined United as first-team coach while Rafa Cristobal, who worked with new Blades boss Slavisa Jokanović at Fulham, is the Blades’ new ‘head of performance’.

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Rhian Brewster chats to Rhys Norrington-Davies in a rare break from training

Marco Cesarini, previously of AC Milan, has linked up with Jokanović again as head of first team medical services having worked under the new Blades boss at both Watford and Fulham.

Jokanović has also been holding a series of meetings while in Spain on recruitment. Paul Mitchell, United’s recruitment chief, has jetted out to Spain with the rest of Jokanović’s coaching staff and their priority list includes a new defenders, with Jack O’Connell set to miss the club’s pre-season campaign and ongoing uncertainty as to whether Kean Bryan will accept the contract offered to him at the end of last season.

The former Manchester City defender has not travelled to Spain and is working on his pre-season preparations nearer to his home in England.

Daniel Jebbison is looking to build on his breakthrough season last campaign

Here are 13 behind-the-scenes photos of how the Blades are working up a sweat in the Spanish sun...

Lys Mousset will also be hoping for a better season this time out
United travelled to Spain after their planned trip to Portugal was scuppered
Regan Slater is in Spain with United amid speculation about where his future lies
Luke Freeman is another man who has been linked with a move away from United this summer
Slavisa Jokanovic speaks to his players on their pre-season camp in Malaga
Jebbison in relaxed mood as he arrives for training
Chris Basham routinely comes out on top when the Blades begin their pre-season runs
David McGoldrick was United's top scorer last season and will be looking to take that good form into 2021/22
A number of young players, including Kacper Lopata, have made the trip to Spain with United
Oli McBurnie also looked in good shape as United kicked off their pre-season preparations in Spain
Blades skipper Billy Sharp is a veteran of the pre-season campaigns