Sheffield United: Bramall Lane's man in Jordan is brokering transfer deals as Slavisa Jokanovic prepares to check in
Sheffield United have hired a Jordanian national to explore potential lines of enquiry in this summer’s transfer market, as new manager Slavisa Jokanovic prepares to officially begin his reign at Bramall Lane.
The Star reported last month how United’s board of directors, led by owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, had asked an unnamed individual to sound-out potential purchasers for players including midfielder Sander Berge whilst also gauging the asking price for those who might be interested in moves to South Yorkshire.
Although the identity of the broker remains unknown, sources with knowledge of goings-on behind the scenes at United have confirmed he is based in Amman but works extensively throughout Europe.
They also believe the tactic is designed to put distance between United and negotiations taking place ahead of what could become a more extensive overhaul of the squad Jokanovic will inherit today than first envisaged.
After agreeing to become their new manager in May, Jokanovic worked through his contract with Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa before returning to England, where he has previously won promotion from the Championship with both Watford and Fulham.
The Serb has also worked in Israel, Thailand, Bulgaria, Spain and his native Yugoslavia since finishing a playing career which encompassed spells with Partizan Belgrade, Deportivo La Coruna and Chelsea.
Despite insisting they planned to retain the majority of the team which was relegated from the Premier League last term, United now find themselves fighting to retain the services of two key players with Arsenal preparing a bid for goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and Celtic monitoring George Baldock’s situation closely.
United do want to sell Berge, whose name also features on a list of targets compiled by Mikel Arteta’s employers in north London. However neither they nor Napoli, another of Berge’s suitors, are willing to meet United’s £35m asking price - believing Prince Abdullah will eventually instruct his intermediary to begin discussing a compromise arrangement.
Berge joined United in January last year following a £22m move from Genk, and has expressed his desire to play European football again after representing the Belgians in both the Europa and Champions leagues.