Sheffield United Digest: Slavisa Jokanovic reveals Aaron Ramsdale talks after Arsenal interest; ex-Leeds man close to joining; Latest on chase for Liverpool's Ben Davies

Slavisa Jokanovic, the Sheffield United manager, says goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale understands why he is urging the Blades’ hierarchy not to sell him to Arsenal - despite appearing to suggest the goalkeeper has expressed an interest in exploring the possibility of a move to the Emirates Stadium.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 6:00 am

Jokanovic, who also confirmed he expects Sampdoria’s Ronaldo Vieira to be unveiled as United’s first summer signing next week, told The Star he outlined his position to Ramsdale when they met for talks earlier this week.

After seeing two unofficial offers for Ramsdale rejected by Bramall Lane’s board of directors, Arsenal have suggested they are now exploring alternative options in the transfer market as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his squad. But Jokanovic suspects that is a smokescreen designed to drive down United’s £40m asking price.

“I am not political with my players,” Jokanovic said. “I am really honest and I am an ex-player myself.” READ FULL STORY HERE

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Jokanovic’s update on his pursuit of Ben Davies

Sheffield United’s negotiations with Liverpool about signing Ben Davies appear to be making slow progress after Slavisa Jokanovic, the Championship club’s manager, confirmed there is “nothing” new to report on his pursuit of the centre-half.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s visit to Swansea City, where he hopes to record his first Championship win since taking charge of United last month, Jokanovic revealed former Leeds midfielder Ronaldo Vieira’s loan move from Sampdoria should be officially processed next week.

But Jokanovic was less forthcoming when asked for an update on United’s interest in Davies, who was also a target for his predecessor Chris Wilder. READ FULL STORY HERE

Aaron Ramsdale of Sheffield United: Andrew Yates /Sportimage

Arteta confident Arsenal business not done amid Ramsdale saga

Mikel Arteta says he is “sure” Arsenal will conduct more transfer business in the coming weeks after his latest move for Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was thwarted earlier this week.

With the sides still some way apart on their valuations of the young England goalkeeper, Arsenal have reportedly begun to identify other targets as they look to sign a homegrown goalkeeper to challenge Bernd Leno.

Arsenal have signed Ben White from Brighton, as well as midfielder Albert Lokonga from Anderlecht and Benfica full-back Nuno Tavares.

Alongside Ramsdale, Arteta has also been linked with the likes of James Maddison, Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard and Houssem Aouar – but ahead of Friday night’s season opener away at newly-promoted Brentford, they have signed just the three players. READ FULL STORY HERE

What Jokanovic said about Ramsdale

Slavisa Jokanović, the Sheffield United manager, has reiterated that he has “zero intention” of selling Aaron Ramsdale this summer after Arsenal’s latest move for the young England goalkeeper was rebuffed by the Blades this week.

Arsenal were confident of securing a breakthrough in the battle to acquire Ramsdale’s services after identifying him as Mikel Arteta’s top target this summer, but the Gunners have reportedly now moved onto other targets after declining to meet the Blades’ valuation of Ramsdale.

Speaking to the media this afternoon ahead of this weekend’s trip to Swansea City, Jokanović was asked if he believes Arsenal retain an interest in signing Ramsdale. READ FULL STORY HERE

When Blades boss expects former Leeds man to sign at Lane

Slavisa Jokanović expects Ronaldo Vieira to join Sheffield United next week and hopes that Ben Davies, the Liverpool defender, will join the former Leeds United man at Bramall Lane.

Vieira, now of Sampdoria in Serie A, is understood to be in England ahead of undergoing a medical at Bramall Lane while Davies remains a target after Liverpool informed their counterparts at United that they preferred to sell the former Preston man, rather than loan him out.

“I believe Ronaldo will soon be with us,” Jokanović admitted, speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Swansea City.

“He’s still not in the building but I hope I will start working with him after the game." READ FULL STORY HERE

The reasons Vieira’s move has been so drawn-out

Negotiations about who should settle the tax bill arising from Ronaldo Vieira move to Sheffield United have delayed the former Leeds midfielder’s unveiling at Bramall Lane, The Star understands.

Vieira, now of UC Sampdoria, is thought to be quarantining at an unknown location in the north of England because of government restrictions imposed on travellers between the UK and Italy.

However, sources at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris last night claimed a disagreement about who should pay the levy on the facility fee his parent club is owed has prevented the move from being signed-off. United want Roberto D’Aversa’s employers to pay while they are insistent it should be the other way around. READ FULL STORY HERE

Why Arsenal may have shown their hand over Ramsdale

At first glance, it appears to be the end of the saga – after spending the best part of a month trying to barter with Sheffield United, Arsenal are now apparently ready to end their pursuit of Aaron Ramsdale.

But the more you consider it, peer beyond the private briefings about moving on to alternative targets, the greater the suspicions grow this simply marks the opening of another new front in the battle for the 23-year-old.

Certainly Slavisa Jokanovic was in no mood to declare victory when he addressed journalists earlier today. READ FULL STORY HERE

Femi Seriki explains decision to join Beerschot on loan

Sheffield United youngster Femi Seriki has joined the Blades’ sister club Beerschot on loan for the 2021/22 season.

The highly-rated right-back, who signed his first professional contract at Bramall Lane soon after making his Premier League debut away at Newcastle United, was a key member of the U23 side that won their league title last season and has agreed the switch to Belgium to further his development.

"I had some opportunities to get started in the Championship, but for me it was important to gain experience abroad," Seriki said. READ FULL STORY HERE

And Blades want more youngsters to follow him

Sheffield United’s hierarchy would prefer Daniel Jebbison to join their sister club Beerschot on loan rather than join a fellow EFL club, sources in Belgium have claimed.

Sunderland appeared destined to secure the teenager’s signature after he watched them play a pre-season friendly against Hull City earlier this summer, with United manager Slavisa Jokanovic thought to have approved the prospective move.

Doncaster Rovers and Burton Albion have also expressed an interest in hiring Jebbison for the remainder of the season, with Jokanovic’s former Chelsea team mate Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in charge of the latter. READ MORE HERE

James Shield: How McBurnie can get back to his best

The last time Sheffield United were at the Liberty Stadium, Oli McBurnie scored the only goal of the game.

It was a clinical finish which befitted what had been an expertly crafted move: Nathan Dyer exchanged passes with Mike van der Hoorn before producing the cross, just beyond the hour mark, which his team mate slid home.

Two years later, as United prepare to face Swansea City in the Championship again on Saturday night, lots of things have changed. Dyer has retired. Van der Hoorn now plays for Arminia Bielefeld. McBurnie, having joined them seven months after condemning them to defeat, now represents the visitors.

Signed for around £20m soon after his new club had reached the Premier League, the Scotland international has endured a mixed time of things since moving to Bramall Lane. READ MORE HERE

McBurnie won’t take things easy at Swansea this weekend

Oli McBurnie admits he is looking forward to catching up with a few old friends from Swansea this weekend – but only after the game, admitting that getting three points for Sheffield United at the Liberty Stadium is the priority in his mind.

McBurnie arrived at United from the Swans after a successful season in Wales, and retains a number of friends at the club. He returns to watch them when his commitments allow – but won’t be taking things easy on Saturday evening.

“Everyone knows how much I appreciated my time at Swansea and I have a real good connection,” the striker said.

“But there’ll be no friends this weekend, it’ll be down to business." READ MORE HERE

McBurnie backs Brewster to bag more for Blades

Oli McBurnie has backed his teammate Rhian Brewster to continue scoring goals for Sheffield United after the youngster broke his duck in Blades colours in midweek.

Brewster hit the back of the net for the first time since his club-record transfer from Liverpool 10 months ago, scoring the winner in United’s 1-0 EFL Cup victory over Carlisle United in midweek.

McBurnie and Brewster both return to a former club this weekend when the Blades travel to Swansea City. READ FULL STORY HERE

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