Sheffield United: Blades are told they must reinvest if Aaron Ramsdale is lured to Arsenal

Slavisa Jokanovic has told Sheffield United they must sign a replacement for Aaron Ramsdale if the goalkeeper joins Arsenal.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 12:30 pm

The Serb delivered the message to Bramall Lane’s board of directors ahead of tomorrow’s visit to West Bromwich Albion, as Mikel Arteta’s employers attempt to land what could be the decisive blow in the fight for the 23-year-old following weeks of shadow boxing behind the scenes.

Although Jokanovic has been impressed by both Michael Verrips at Wes Foderingham since taking charge of United last month, his refusal to confirm which of them is regarded as United’s number two before Saturday’s draw with Swansea City suggests neither has yet to convince him they are ready to don the gloves on a permanent basis should Ramsdale depart.

Jokanovic, who led Watford and Fulham to promotion from the Championship before being appointed as manager of Al-Gharafa, also made an oblique reference to the need for “investment” during an interview with The Star. That came in response to a question about Ransdale’s future, with the former Yugoslavia international appearing to suggest Ramsdale is tempted by the idea of moving to north London following United’s relegation from the Premier League last season.

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Roma’s Robin Olsen, capped 48 times by Sweden, and Seny Dieng of Senegal and Queens Park Rangers, have both been linked with United as doubts about Ramsdale’s long-term future in South Yorkshire intensify.

Olsen is thought to be open to the idea of leaving the Italian capital on loan after falling down the pecking order since Jose Mourinho’s appointment earlier this summer. Jokanovic acknowledged during his first media conference at United that he would be focusing on the temporary transfer market during the current window.

Verrips, previously of Mechelen, started United’s EFL Cup win over Carlisle United a week ago and appears set to feature again when they face Derby County in the second round of the competition.

Foderingham amassed a wealth of experience with Rangers before leaving Ibrox last summer, and was viewed as Ramsdale’s main deputy by Jokanovic’s predecessor Chris Wilder. He has also represented Fulham, Crystal Palace and Swindon Town since turning professional.

Aaron Ramsdale & Wes Foderingham of Sheffield United: Andrew Yates / Sportimage
Michael Verrips: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Slavisa Jokanovic: Simon Bellis / Sportimage