Sheffield United Digest: How Blades will approach transfer market this summer; Rival's stance may help keep Arsenal-linked Aaron Ramsdale at Bramall Lane
Sheffield United will use the loan market to sign players who might otherwise be beyond their financial reach this summer.
Although Bramall Lane’s board of directors have granted permission for the Serb to make several permanent additions, with an attacking midfielder known to be a priority, the majority of their business is likely to focus on temporary acquisitions after being relegated from the top-flight last season.
Jokanovic, who steered both Watford and Fulham out of the second tier before taking up a position with Al-Gharafa in Qatar, personally approved the tactic during his discussion with United owner HRH Prince Andullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud prior to officially taking charge last week.
“We need to be a little bit patient,” Jokanovic said. “At the same time, we are looking at the loan market too. That’s a little bit cheaper. Not much, but it can be.” READ FULL STORY HERE
Blades handed potential boost in bid to keep Ramsdale at Lane
Sheffield United may have been handed a boost in their bid to keep Arsenal-linked Aaron Ramsdale at Sheffield United after West Brom’s new boss admitted he expects Sam Johnstone, also a target for the Gunners, to depart this summer.
Mikel Arteta’s side identified Ramsdale as a target after the Blades were relegated, despite a good individual season for their goalkeeper as he picked up the club’s player of the year award.
The London club are also thought to have looked at Johnstone, Ramsdale’s teammate with England at the Euros and also relegated with West Brom last term.
Although officials at Bramall Lane suspect that that interest could be a smokescreen, designed to tempt them into lowering their £40m valuation of Ramsdale, it could be a crucial development if they are serious about signing cover and competition for Emirates No.1, Bernd Leno. READ FULL STORY HERE
Celtic urged to sign “passionate” Baldock
As reported by The Star recently, George Baldock has emerged as a target for Glasgow giants Celtic after Sheffield United’s relegation from the Premier League last season.
Ange Postecoglou, the Parkhead boss, has identified Baldock as a possible new acquisition after succeeding Neil Lennon as boss of the Hoops.
And Gabby Agbonlahor, the former Aston Villa striker turned pundit, believes it would be good move for the “passionate” right-back.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I’ve really liked him at Sheffield United since they came into the Premier League. He looks so calm on the ball with his passing, he’s energetic going forwards and backwards." READ FULL STORY HERE
McBurnie tells Rangers what sort of player they have signed in Lundstram
Oli McBurnie, the Sheffield United striker and Rangers fan, has told the Glasgow giants that they have signed “a top player” in John Lundstram after admitting he advised the midfielder to move to Ibrox when it became apparent he would be leaving Bramall Lane.
Lundstram was unveiled as a Rangers player earlier this week, signing a three-year deal after his contract at Bramall Lane officially expired.
The midfielder revealed that Blades teammate John Fleck, a Rangers fan and former player, “played a massive part” in his move north of the border.
And another former teammate, Scottish international striker McBurnie, admitted he had advised “natural born winner” Lundstram that the next chapter of his career should be written at Ibrox. READ FULL STORY HERE
New boss takes hands-on approach
Slavisa Jokanovic the Sheffield United manager, is taking a hands-on approach to training at the club’s training camp in Spain as its players are exposed to a new way of working.
Unlike his predecessor Chris Wilder who preferred to let his assistant Alan Knill take charge of most sessions, Jokanovic is at the heart of every single one according to observers on the ground.
Although the Serb is using the trip to Spain and Saturday’s friendly against Europa Point to begin relaying the tactics and strategies he hopes will help United return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, sources with a previous experience of how the 52-year-old works have told The Star he is likely to continue immersing himself in United’s day to day work throughout the season. READ FULL STORY HERE
Blades’ stars work up a sweat in Spain ahead of new season
Sheffield United’s players are hard at work in Spain as they continue their pre-season preparations ahead of their Championship opener against Birmingham City at Bramall Lane next month.
Here are 13 behind-the-scenes photos of how the Blades are working up a sweat in the Spanish sun… READ FULL STORY HERE
Celtic set to adopt familiar tactic in Baldock pursuit
Celtic have yet to make an approach for Geoge Baldock, The Star understands, as the former Scottish Premiership champions continue to stalk the Sheffield United defender rather than make their interest official.
Ange Postecoglou, Slavisa Jokanovic’s counterpart at Parkhead, placed Baldock on a list of potential targets earlier this month after being presented with a dossier of players being tracked by his recruitment department.
The former Australia head coach’s decision to approve a possible move for Baldock is significant because, according to sources north of the border, he spent days poring over footage of those highlighted as possible acquisitions before making his own recommendations.
However, with Postecoglou’s employers unlikely to pay more than £8m for the 28-year-old, they have resisted the temptation to make contact with Bramall Lane’s board of directors. Instead, United have been warned they will keep a watching brief on any developments in South Yorkshire which might enable them to begin negotiating his valuation. READ FULL STORY HERE
New coach reveals why he left Valencia for Blades
Chema Sanz, Sheffield United’s new first team coach, has revealed that Slavisa Jokanović’s persistence was a big factor in his decision to leave his role at Valencia to join the Serb in South Yorkshire.
Sanz was this week unveiled as a new member of Jokanović’s United backroom staff, with fitness coach Rafa Cristobal joining as ‘head of performance’ and Marco Cesarini heading the Blades’ medical department.
Sanz previously managed Valencia’s B team before becoming technical director at the Mestalla. “I come to work with Slavisa Jokanovic a coach I had as a player at Tenerife,” he told Valencia Radio. READ FULL STORY HERE
Watch Rammers surprise LadBaby with Euros tickets
This is the hilarious moment Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale surprised internet sensation LadBaby with tickets for England’s European Championship semi-final against Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday night.
LadBaby, otherwise known as Mark Hoyle and his wife Roxanne, are bloggers and YouTubers from Nottingham who rose to fame when their parody cover singles "We Built This City [on sausage rolls], "I Love Sausage Rolls" and "Don't Stop Me Eatin'" went to the Christmas No.1 spot in 2018, 2019 and 2020 – making them only the third act have three consecutive Christmas No.1s in the UK chart, after The Beatles and the Spice Girls.
United goalkeeper Ramsdale is a big fan of LadBaby’s work, having previously posted on his Instagram stories singing their ode to sausage rolls, and surprised Mark with an offer of tickets for the Denmark clash at Wembley. READ FULL STORY HERE
Why England owe a debt of gratitude to the Blades
Almost 20 per cent of the England squad which has reached Sunday’s European Championship final have Sheffield United’s fingerprints on them. A pretty remarkable number, I’m sure you’ll agree, for a club most people out there don’t view as a footballing powerhouse.
Thinking about the contribution United have made to the Three Lions’ march on Wembley, perhaps it is time for folk to change their perception of Slavisa Jokanovic’s employers. Harry Maguire, Kyle Walker, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Aaron Ramsdale all graduated from the Steelphalt Academy after learning their trade at Bramall Lane.
Conor Coady spent a season there on loan under Jokanovic’s predecessors David Weir and Nigel Clough, honing the skills which would eventually see him summoned by his country to St George’s Park.
“I absolutely loved my time there,” he told the creators of a well-known podcast earlier this year. “I can’t speak highly enough of my time at the place. I loved it. Brilliant.” READ FULL STORY HERE
Why Sanz is set to have a big influence at the Lane
Sheffield United could attempt to exploit Chema Sanz’s knowledge of the Spanish transfer market this summer, as they attempt to strengthen Slavisa Jokanovic’s squad ahead of the new season.
The Spaniard’s appointment as the Championship club’s first team coach was confirmed earlier this week, as he joined fellow new arrivals Rafael Cristobal and Marco Cesarini at its overseas training camp.
Outlining the reasons behind his decision to leave Valencia, where he served as both manager of their ‘B’ team and also technical director, Sanz explained how Jokanovic first approached him about the possibility of working together before the end of last year - five months before the Serb accepted the challenge of leading United back into the Premier League following last term’s relegation. READ FULL STORY HERE