Sheffield United attempt to cast a smokescreen over their managerial selection process amid talk of Slavisa Jokanovic interest
Sheffield United’s hierarchy are attempting to distance themselves from claims that Slavisa Jokanovic has been approached about replacing Chris Wilder at Bramall Lane, although the former Fulham and Watford manager is thought to feature among the names being considered by the Premier League club’s hierarchy as they attempt to identify the 53-year-old’s successor.
Jokanovic, currently in charge of Qatari club Al-Gharafa, emerged as a potential candidate for the vacancy created by Wilder’s departure over the weekend - prompting several senior figures behind the scenes to deny that an offer of any kind has been made to the Serb and his representatives.
However, one agent with a knowledge of the selection process has told The Star it is likely Jokanovic’s credentials will be scrutinised if he expresses an interest in returning to England.
Karl Robinson, who made discreet advances about working for United before David Weir’s appointment in 2013, is another possible candidate after impressing with MK Dons, Charlton Athletic and Oxford. Jason Tindall, previously of AFC Bournemouth, has a chance to press his own claims having been tasked with working alongside caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom until the end of the season. Tindall, who left Dean Court earlier this term, was a visible and vocal presence on the touchline during Sunday’s FA Cup tie by Chelsea, which saw United bow out of the competition at the quarter-final stage. Michael Appleton, currently of Lincoln, is also thought to have been proposed as an option by at least one outside source.
With Wilder’s assistant Alan Knill being offered a technical role as part of a proposed restructuring exercise of their football operations, United must decide whether or not to install a director of football should the Wales international decline their invitation to remain on the payroll before pressing ahead with the search for Wilder’s replacement.
The 53-year-old guided United out of League One and into the Premier League during nearly five seasons at the helm, steering them to a ninth placed finish last term. However, with United set to be relegated back to the Championship in May, Jokanovic’s promotions at both Craven Cottage and Vicarage Road will not have gone unnoticed among a board of directors under intense scrutiny after agreeing to part company with Wilder, who was a hugely popular figure with supporters.