Sheffield United are presented with a list of transfer targets, as Slavisa Jokanovic prepares to hit the ground running

Slavisa Jokanovic has presented Sheffield United with a list of transfer targets as he prepares to take charge at Bramall Lane, with a goalscoring midfielder thought to be the Serb’s top priority this summer.

By James Shield
Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 5:00 am

Despite being confirmed as United’s new manager last week, Jokanovic will not officially begin work in South Yorkshire until next month when his contract with Qatari club Al-Gharafa expires.

However, the 52-year-old is understood to have discussed potential new signings with United owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during a meeting in Geneva on Thursday - before he flew to Portugal to watch his former club Chelsea beat Manchester City in the Champions League final 48 hours later.

With Sander Berge and John Lundstram both expected to depart following their relegation from the Premier League, Jokanovic’s presence in South Yorkshire has inevitably seen United linked with Fulham’s Tom Cairney after the two men worked successfully together at Craven Cottage.

Jokanovic remains a huge admirer of the Scotland player, who was a member of the squad he led to promotion via the Championship play-offs in 2018. Although Cairney could leave west London after Fulham also surrendered their top-flight status last term, his £10m valuation could prove an obstacle for United - even if they are able to sell Berge for £35m - as Prince Abdullah attempts to mitigate the financial effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jokanovic’s predecessor Chris Wilder attempted to lure Reading’s John Swift to United as a direct replacement for Lundstram when it became clear the Liverpudlian had no intention of extending his present deal, which runs out later this month. Jokanovic told United’s board of directors that he is ready to work with members of the recruitment department who remained in post following Wilder’s exit in March but Swift’s recent injury issues could persuade him to look elsewhere.

As well as establishing back channel lines of communication with Arsenal, who are leen to lure Berge to the Emirates Stadium, United are also preparing to receive expressions of interest in Oli McBurnie, with Rangers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham reportedly among the centre-forward’s list of admirers.

Slavisa Jokanovic will officially take charge of Sheffield United later this summer: Clive Rose/Getty Images