Sheffield United: A second Croatian defender could soon be arriving at Bramall Lane

Sheffield United are considering bringing a second Croatian defender to Bramall Lane after signing Filip Uremovic from Rubin Kazan.

Monday, 28th March 2022, 5:00 am

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The Star understands Stipe Radic, who currently plays for Beerschot, could be invited to spend next season in South Yorkshire if Greg Vanderidt’s side are relegated from the Jupiler Pro League.

The Belgians, 11 points adrift at the bottom of the table, are also part of the United World organisation; a global network of teams established by HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud following his arrival in England nine years ago.

Radic, aged 21, has made 28 appearances for United’s sister club so far this term after beginning his career with Hajduk Split.

Regarded as one of the most promising young talents at the Olympisch Stadion, the defender is unlikely to view a spell in First Division B as part of his career progression. In order to keep him under the UW umbrella, officials at its headquarters on the continents are thought to be exploring the idea of placing him with Paul Heckingbottom’s side. However, according to sources within the game, a final decision on the proposal has yet to be taken as a variety of issues, including work permit regulations and alternative arrangements, are scutinised.

Scotland striker Lawrence Shankland, previously of Dundee United, also plays for Beerschot while Ismaila Coulibaly, on loan there from United, spent last week training with Heckingbottom’s squad.

Radic’s compatriot Uremovic joined United on Thursday after being allowed to temporarily suspend his contract in Kazan following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Filip Uremovic arrives at Sheffield United and is joined by manager Paul Heckingbottom

Capped six times by his country at senior level, Uremovic put pen to paper on a short term agreement after watching Heckingbottom’s men finish the latest round of Championship games ranked fifth in the table following a 2-0 win over Barnsley.

The centre-half is expected to make his debut when United return to action with a visit to Stoke City on Saturday, by which time they hope captain and leading goalscorer Billy Sharp will have recovered from the hamstring complaint which is threatening his involvement.

Uremovic, who has also represented Croatia at under-21 level, is initially tied to United until June 30.

He turned professional with HNK Cibalia before being recruited by Dinamo Zagreb.

Sheffield United hope Billy Sharp is available to face Stoke City: Darren Staples / Sportimage