Sheffield United are told the path to Slavisa Jokanovic's door
Slavisa Jokanovic is expected to accept any invitation to discuss the vacant manager’s position at Bramall Lane if he leaves Qatari club Al-Gharafa later this month.
The Serb, who led both Watford and Fulham to promotion from the Championship before heading out to the Middle East, is expected to part company with his current employers at the end of his present contract.
That expires later this month, and although United have yet to make contact with Jokanovic about his thoughts on succeeding Chris Wilder, sources close to Bramall Lane report they are performing “due diligence” on his methods and likely demands to see if they fit their profile.
Alexander Blessin, the Oostende head coach, is another name also under consideration. But after only taking charge of the Belgians last summer after leaving RB Leipzig’s youth department, the German could struggle to qualify for a work permit under new legislation following Brexit.
Although Jokanovic has not announced his next move, it is widely anticipated the former Chelsea midfielder will return to Europe following his spell at the Thani bin Jassim Stadium.
Ideally, he would prefer an opportunity to work at Premier League level or in a leading continental competition if he parts company with the seven time QSL title winners. But with the Championship highly regarded in footballing circles, United’s imminent relegation from the English top-flight should not prove too much of an obstacle if they decide to express a firm interest in hiring Jokanovic.
With Wilder’s departure so far failing to change the course of their campaign - despite leading them to a ninth placed finish last season, he departed with them bottom of the table - they are preparing for Saturday’s visit to Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 points adrift of safety with only seven matches remaining.
Jokanovic led Al-Gharafa into the Asian Champions League play-offs following last weekend’s 5-1 win over Umm Salal - a result which saw them finish fourth in the table.
United are expected to be without a number of key players for the trip to Molineux, with Oli McBurnie the latest regular starter to enter the treatment room.