Sheffield United: Blades draw up list of alternative options in response to transfer saga

Slavisa Jokanovic, the Sheffield United manager, has begun drawing-up a list of alternatives to Kean Bryan as officials at the club grow frustrated by the defender’s refusal to confirm whether or not he plans to accept their offer of a new contract.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:08 pm

Bryan missed last week’s return to pre-season training after his previous deal expired following the club’s relegation from the Premier League.

After being informed United intended to hand him fresh terms - and later receiving a formal proposal from Bramall Lane’s football administration department - Bryan has yet to provide any indication about his future intentions with Jokanovic recently admitting he is “unsure” about what will happen.

Although he chose to answer in the most diplomatic terms possible when questioned on the subject by journalists last week, the Serb is understood to suspect the delay means Bryan is attempting to reach agreement with a Championship rival before showing his hand.

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Slavisa Jokanovic's patience will only stretch so far: Clive Rose/Getty Images
Slavisa Jokanovic's patience will only stretch so far: Clive Rose/Getty Images

And that has prompted Jokanovic to begin identifying replacements for the 24-year-old, who has been linked with West Bromwich Albion.

“The longer it goes on, the more you think it’s not going to happen,” a source within the game told The Star last night. “You can never say never in this business. But, if the lad’s first preference was to take it (the offer) then you would have thought it would have been done by now. Or at least there’d be some sort of indication that he wanted to stay but negotiate a few things differently.”

United play their first pre-season friendly, against Europa Point, on Saturday evening.