Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic will hold talks with these two players before deciding their futures

Slavisa Jokanovic is expected to speak with both Regan Slater and Kean Bryan during his first week in charge of Sheffield United, after it emerged both men are being courted by rival clubs.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 3:20 pm

As The Star reported earlier this week, Hull City believe they can agree a deal for Slater despite United’s decision to extend the midfielder’s contract following his successful spell on loan at the KCOM Stadium last term.

Bryan has also received an offer from Bramall Lane’s hierarchy following the expiry of his deal, but is known to have been monitored by teams both at home and abroad earlier this year.

However, after delivering his assessment of the squad he will shortly inherit from Chris Wilder to United’s board of directors, two well-placed sources last night confirmed the Serb would prefer to observe the two players during training and then speak with them face to face before reaching a final decision on their futures.

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Jokanovic’s reign is scheduled to officially begin on July 1, after he agreed to fulfil his obligations with Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa before travelling to England.

Although a wealth of footage of Bryan in action has been placed at the former Yugoslavia international’s disposal - the centre-half made 15 appearances for United as they were relegated from the Premier League - Jokanovic will find it difficult to take a view on Slater’s prospects of challenging for a starting role given that the majority of his experience has come at EFL level.

With United set to begin the new campaign in the Championship, that could work to the young midfielder’s advantage. But equally, with Jokanovic hoping to lead United to promotion after guiding both Watford and Fulham out of the second tier before heading to the Middle East, he will be reluctant to arrive at a decision about Slater without being convinced he can perform at the top end of the division.

After helping them lift the League One title, City are convinced they can finalise personal terms with the young midfielder, who has also completed spells with Scunthorpe and Carlisle. But they accept they will be forced to wait until the middle of next month until the picture regarding the next phase of Slater’s career becomes clearer.

Kean Bryan with his Sheffield United team mate John Egan: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Kean Bryan with his Sheffield United team mate John Egan: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Preston North End are also known to be keen on Slater, who was once a target for Derby County after graduating from the Steelphalt Academy youth programme. The player is understood to favour the idea of completing a permanent move to East Yorkshire, where he believes opportunities will be more forthcoming given his relationship with Grant McCann. But the prospect of working under Jokanovic will also be tempting.

Bryan joined United from Manchester City in 2018. After initially struggling for game time, he made his top-flight debut towards the end of last year during United’s visit to West Bromwich Albion as Wilder searched for a solution to the problem caused by centre-half Jack O’Connell’s absence through injury.

Bryan went on to feature another 14 times, scoring during United’s win over Manchester United at Old Trafford in January.

Slavisa Jokanovic: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Regan Slater during a first team friendly: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images