Sheffield United Digest: New boss's warning to his players ahead of start date; Latest on Arsenal, Aston Villa target; Seaman's view on Aaron Ramsdale

Slavisa Jokanovic has warned Sheffield United’s players that past reputations count for nothing as he prepares to officially take charge at Bramall Lane.

Saturday, 26th June 2021, 6:00 am

Jokanovic will oversee his first pre-season session later this week after officially starting work at Bramall Lane following the expiry of his contract in Qatar.

Before then, United’s coaching staff will be providing him with regular updates on how his squad are approaching pre-season training – with particular attention paid to the attitude and application of those players linked with moves away from United.

The message, relayed in an email delivered to every member of the first team squad ahead of next week’s return to training, is designed to ensure their work meets his exacting standards from the first session onwards.

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One of the most pressing items on Jokanovic’s agenda when he officially starts is to meet with Sander Berge, Kean Bryan, Regan Slater and Jayden Bogle, who have all been linked with moves away from United this summer. READ FULL STORY HERE

Latest on Arsenal and Napoli pursuit of Sander Berge

Napoli believe Sheffield United will be forced to compromise over their asking price for Sander Berge, as officials at the Serie A club refuse to withdraw their interest in the midfielder.

Officials at the San Paolo first made a move for Berge last week, with reports in Italy now suggesting that head coach Luciano Spalletti has approved sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli’s bid to try and recruit the 23-year-old.

Slavisa Jokanovic is about to take charge at Bramall Lane: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Slavisa Jokanovic is about to take charge at Bramall Lane: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Although Napoli’s approach came via an intermediary - direct contact between the two sides has yet to be established - they made it clear they had no intention of meeting United’s £35m valuation of a player signed for £22m only 17 months ago.

United are convinced their figure accurately reflects Berge’s worth, given that he told Genk he had no intention of agreeing a new contract before heading to England. READ FULL STORY HERE

How Slav proved he’ll retain control of transfers

Jack Hendry, one of the players Sheffield United had identified as a potential new signing before Slavisa Jokanovic’s appointment as manager, is set to complete a permanent move to Oostende having spent last season on loan at the Versluys Arena.

The Celtic defender was linked with United when Bramall Lane’s hierarchy approached the Belgians’ head coach Alexander Blessin about the possibility of taking charge before opting for Jokanovic instead.

United’s recruitment and scouting department had already flagged-up Hendry as a person of interest, as they began plotting changes for the new season.

Phil Jagielka was released at the end of his contract following United’s relegation from the Premier League but Jokanovic, who officially takes charge on Thursday, appears intent on taking a different path - leaving the way clear for Oostende to push through a deal. READ FULL STORY HERE

Lowe hopes Slav will give his career a boost

Max Lowe hopes Slavisa Jokanovic’s appointment as Sheffield United manager sees him granted more first team opportunities next season, after making only eight Premier League appearances last term.

The former Derby County defender, who moved to Bramall Lane as part of the deal which also brought Jayden Bogle to South Yorkshire, is known to have grown frustrated by his lack of game time as after leaving Pride Park.

With United preparing to return to the Championship following two years as a top-flight club, Lowe is aiming to become a regular starter under Jokanovic who officially takes charge on Thursday. READ FULL STORY HERE

Interest in Lundstram expected to increase when deal expires

Any interest in former Sheffield United man John Lundstram is expected to ramp up towards the back end of next week when his Bramall Lane contract officially expires.

The former Everton midfielder rejected multiple offers of a new contract as his time at United came to an end, with former boss Chris Wilder revealing that they would have made Lundstram one of the highest earners at the club.

But Lundstram turned them down in favour of a free-transfer move elsewhere, with Rangers, Burnley and Crystal Palace amongst the clubs linked with him. READ FULL STORY HERE

Former Blade Beatts lands a new coaching role

James Beattie, the former Sheffield United striker and Sheffield Wednesday coach, has been appointed as Leam Richardson's assistant manager at Wigan Athletic.

Beattie, who was United’s record signing for a long while after joining from Everton, scored 34 goals in 80 games for the Blades across two spells before joining Wednesday as Garry Monk’s assistant last season, leaving Hillsborough when Monk was sacked after three months.

He played with Wigan boss Richardson at Accrington Stanley, later replacing him as manager, and also has coaching experience at Swansea City, Leeds United, Birmingham City and Middlesbrough under Monk.

“Beattie will help provide Latics with a plethora of football knowledge through his coaching and experiences as a professional footballer,” a statement confirming his appointment read. READ FULL STORY HERE

Seaman says Arsenal should sign Ramsdale – on one condition

David Seaman, the legendary England goalkeeper, has urged his former club Arsenal to sign Sheffield United stopper Aaron Ramsdale this summer – but not at the expense of the Gunners’ current No.1, Bernd Leno.

The Premier League club have been linked with United’s Ramsdale after he was drafted into the England squad for this summer’s European Championships, on the back of an impressive season for his club despite the Blades’ relegation to the Championship.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta – who is also interested in Ramsdale’s Bramall Lane teammate, Sander Berge – has been linked with a £20m move for Ramsdale, who is privately valued at double that by the Blades hierarchy. READ FULL STORY HERE

Sharp to return to boyhood club for latest LJS Cup

Billy Sharp’s boyhood club will host the eighth edition of a successful junior tournament, held in memory of the Sheffield United skipper’s late son, this weekend.

The LJS Cup was set up in 2012 by Sharp and his now-wife Jade after the tragic death of their newborn son, Luey Jacob, from gastroschisis.

The tournament has grown in popularity over the years, with teams from across the region taking part, and Sharp will be on hand to give out medals and trophies to successful teams at the conclusion of the two-day event hosted by his boyhood club, Middlewood Rovers. READ FULL STORY HERE