Sheffield United consider more potential candidates as Slavisa Jokanovic waits to announce his next move
Sheffield United are continuing to receive applications for the vacant manager’s position at Bramall Lane, sources at the club have confirmed, despite entering the closing stages of their selection process.
Slavisa Jokanovic, previously of Watford and Fulham, remains the candidate of choice among supporters amid suggestions he is ready for a return to Europe following two years with Qatari club Al-Gharafa.
Oostende head coach Alexander Blessin is known to boast admirers on United’s board of directors, with Jan van Winckel, owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s footballing advisor, an admirer of the German’s work at the Diaz Arena.
But that has not discouraged others looking to succeed Chris Wilder at the helm from making representations to United’s hierarchy. Currently in the process of drawing-up a final shortlist, van Winckel and others tasked with deciding which names to present to the Saudi Arabian will consider every CV on its merits before electing whether or not to tweak their choices.
With their relegation from the Premier League set to be mathematically confirmed and Paul Heckingbottom known to have impressed van Winckel with his conduct since taking over the reins, United have resolved there is no need to rush making an appointment.
Instead, with former AFC Bournemouth manager and coach Jason Tindall being drafted in to assist the 43-year-old, they are likely - but not certain - to wait until the end of a campaign which has seen United slide 18 points adrift of safety before unveiling Wilder’s successor.
A two-time promotion winner in South Yorkshire, Wilder issued his first statement since departing yesterday; detailing his pride at taking the job and thanking players, fans and family alike for their backing during nearly five seasons in charge.
Although United are known to have compiled a dossier on Jokanovic, who delivered promotion at both Vicarage Road and Craven Cottage, they have yet to make an official approach; preferring instead to wait until his business in the Middle East is concluded before deciding whether or not to hold talks.
The Serb steered Al-Gharafa into the AFC Champions League play-offs with an emphatic victory over Umm Salal last weekend. However, with his family believed to have remained in Europe, Jokanovic appears unlikely to accept an invitation to stay at the seven time QSL winners.