Although the Serb will officially take up his position at Bramall Lane when his contract with Qatari club Al-Gharafa expires at the end of next month, United’s decision to confirm him in post has brought some much needed clarity behind the scenes - where recruitment staff have been effectively working without instruction or direction since Chris Wilder’s departure two months ago.
By confirming Jokanovic’s presence, despite the delay in him taking up his position, United have attempted to address an issue which caretaker Paul Heckingbottom had previously admitted was causing “uncertainty” behind the scenes.
Despite stressing he will respect the terms of his deal in the Middle East, Jokanovic is bound to have discussed his wants and requirements during a meeting with United owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Geneva on Thursday; a matter of hours before his arrival was announced.
Although United are braced to receive interest in some of their leading players after being relegated from the Premier League last season, both Prince Abdullah and Jan van Winckel, the Saudi Arabian’s sporting advisor, informed Jokanovic they are confident they can retain the core of the squad he inherits from Wilder.
But with Sander Berge and John Lundstram both expected to leave before the start of next term, midfield is set to be a priority position with Jokanovic already mentioning pace, power and creativity as three qualities those hoping to earn a move to South Yorkshire must possess.
United could also look to trim their attacking options, where the number of centre-forwards at their disposal has ballooned in recent months. Despite struggling for goals since being asked to become a targetman, Oli McBurnie has a proven track record of success in the Championship following prolific spells with both Barnsley and Swansea.
However, Rangers, the club he supports, are now reportedly interested in luring him north of the border once the injury which brought his campaign to a premature end heals.
Wolverhampton Wanderers were also considering a bid for McBurnie, before Nuno Espirito Santo’s decision to step down.