Sheffield United: Blades set to reach a decision on defender as Slavisa Jokanovic steps up transfer search

Sheffield United will redouble their efforts to increase the defensive options at manager Slavisa Jokanovic’s disposal, as Bramall Lane’s hierarchy begins to lose patience with Kean Bryan and his approach towards accepting a new contract.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 6:00 pm

Nearly two months after being informed he would be offered fresh terms, Bryan has still yet to inform United if the proposal they subsequently tabled with his representative is likely to be signed.

That prompted Jokanovic to admit he “isn’t thinking” about working with the centre-half before his squad’s return to England following a week long training camp in Spain.

The Star has been told there is now an acceptance behind the scenes that Bryan is simply stalling for time while he considers approaches from rival clubs. That is unlikely to go down well with the Serb, who pointedly praised the “determination” of those players who did travel to Estepona following Saturday’s friendly against Europa Point.

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“They have shown exactly what we wanted to see,” said Jokanovic, who also referenced Rhys Norrington-Davies’ decision to attend despite being granted extra-time off following his European Championship commitments with Wales. “They need to be together and to believe in each other.

“I was very pleased with what I have seen. The determination and commitment of everyone has been very good.”

Bryan is thought to have held talks with West Bromwich Albion - who like United were relegated from the Premier League last term - over the summer. However, with Matt Clarke undergoing a medical ahead of a loan move to The Hawthorns, it remains to be seen if they will follow up their interest. Clarke, of Brighton and Hove Albion, had also been linked with United after impressing during a season-long placement with Derby County.

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Dion Sanderson is another name thought to feature on a list of potential targets presented to Jokanovic by United’s recruitment department following his unveiling earlier this month.

Bryan, aged 24, has been training on his own since becoming a free agent when his previous deal with United expired on June 30. He moved to South Yorkshire in 2018 after leaving Manchester City.