Sheffield United Digest: The new tactic Arsenal may try to land Sander Berge, Aaron Ramsdale; No Covid-19 passports or facemasks for Birmingham clash

Arsenal could attempt to negotiate a double deal with Sheffield United for Sander Berge and Aaron Ramsdale, after the Premier League side appeared to resurrect their interest in United’s Norwegian midfielder.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 6:00 am

Despite continuing their pursuit of Ramsdale following his return from England duty at the European Championships, the Londoners’ interest in Berge appeared to have cooled following unofficial talks between the two clubs earlier this year.

Although Mikel Arteta’s side have no intention of meeting the £40m valuation United have placed on Ramsdale, they remain determined to secure his services before the end of the transfer window.

With Berge now thought to be back on Arsenal’s radar, Arteta’s employers could attempt to broker a compromise by offering to sign both players from United rather than just one. READ FULL STORY HERE

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No facemasks or Covid-19 passports for the Lane this weekend

Sheffield United supporters will not have to show a so-called Covid-19 passport when they return to Bramall Lane this weekend for the visit of Birmingham City, the club have confirmed.

Proof of vaccination, or a recent negative Covid-19 test, has been adopted as a condition of entry to major sporting events since coronavirus restrictions were eased last month.

But as things stand, there is no plan to adopt such methods at Bramall Lane – although the club appeared to reserve the right to change that, adding that “any changes to this policy will be communicated should the need arise.”

Slavisa Jokanovic, manager of Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Facemasks are also no longer mandatory at Bramall Lane, although the club are advising their use, and hand sanitising stations will be stationed around the ground for supporters to use. READ FULL STORY HERE

Why Blades’ move for Vieira could suit all parties

Three years ago, researchers at the CIES Football Observatory compiled a list of Europe’s most promising young players.

After studying a variety of performance variables, then crunching the numbers and surveying the results, academics at the centre based in Neuchatel, Switzerland, selected 20 individuals they believed were destined for big things.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, of AC Milan and Italy, topped the organisation’s rankings. Kylian Mbappe, the Paris St Germain and France striker, featured in third. Among those who also made the cut was Ronaldo Vieira, whose name is understood to have been put forward as a potential loan signing for Sheffield United.

Although the former Leeds midfielder has yet to realise the potential which earned him a place in such exalted company, his talent is not in doubt. Nor are there any questions as to why Vieira’s current club, Sampdoria, are so interested in allowing him to spend next season at Bramall Lane or the thinking behind Slavisa Jokanovic’s decision to consider their invitation. READ FULL STORY HERE

Napoli’s Berge pursuit enters a critical phase

Napoli’s pursuit of Sheffield United’s Sander Berge is approaching a crossroads, with the Italians forced to consider alternative options to the Norwegian midfielder after privately admitting they are finding it difficult to meet his valuation.

The Serie A club made Berge one of their top transfer targets earlier this summer, as they attempted to exploit both Luciano Spalletti’s appointment as head coach and United’s relegation from the Premier League.

But according to both sources in Italy and reports in the country’s sporting media, Cristiano Giuntoli, Napoli’s sporting director, is now exploring a number of different avenues as talks with Bramall Lane’s hierarchy proves difficult to progress. READ FULL STORY HERE

EFL will support Blades if they take the knee

The English Football League have reaffirmed its support to clubs, including Sheffield United, if they wish to continue taking the knee as an anti-racism and discrimination stance when the new season gets underway.

Players and staff have performed the gesture before kick-off at games for over a year, with United and Aston Villa the first to adopt it when the game restarted after the Covid-19 pandemic.

David McGoldrick, the United striker, was later revealed to have been instrumental in the move to show a simple anti-racism message for a few seconds before kick-off, which has still become a divisive issue in modern society.

Although it is yet unclear whether United will continue to take the knee ahead of their games this coming season, the EFL have reaffirmed their support for those clubs that will do so. READ FULL STORY HERE

Youngster reveals aims for season after leaving Lane on loan

George Broadbent, the Sheffield United midfielder, says he is aiming to mature “as a player and as a person” after joining League Two side Rochdale on loan.

Broadbent, who spent time last season with United’s sister club Beerschot in Belgium, moves to Spotland initially until January. He will link up with former Blade Sam Graham, after the defender left United to join Rochdale last week.

“We’ve finally got it over the line and I’m looking forward to the season now,” said Broadbent. READ FULL STORY HERE

Slav can’t wait to see Blades fans back where they belong

Slavisa Jokanović admits he can’t wait for his full experience of managing Sheffield United in front of a full house at Bramall Lane after praising the “amazing” support his side received in their final pre-season friendly at Doncaster Rovers.

United were backed by over 3,000 fans at the Keepmoat, their first away following in 17 months because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and a healthy crowd will gather at Bramall Lane for the first time since March 2020 when the Blades kick off their new season at home to Birmingham City.

And Jokanović told The Star: “I didn't have this kind of experience before when I coached in England, bringing this amount of people to the stadium for an away game.” READ FULL STORY HERE

Pundit urges Arsenal not to sign Ramsdale

Danny Mills, the former Leeds and England defender turned pundit, has urged Arsenal to sign Freddie Woodman this summer rather than Sheffield United’s goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale.

Ramsdale emerged as a target for Mikel Arteta’s side this summer after his strong displays last season despite the Blades’ relegation.

But the Gunners have so far refused to match United’s £40m valuation of their No.1 and Ramsdale, a member of this summer’s England squad at the European Championships, remains a Blade ahead of this weekend’s season opener against Birmingham City.

Arsenal may yet return with another bid, after failing with two previously, but Mills said: “It’s bizarre.” READ FULL STORY HERE

Warnock backs Slav to be a big hit at Bramall Lane

Slavisa Jokanovic has been told he joined a “wonderful” football club after agreeing to become Sheffield United’s new manager, as the Serb prepares to take charge of his first competitive match since taking charge.

Neil Warnock, one of Jokanovic’s most successful predecessors, also insisted the former Watford, Fulham and Partizan Belgrade chief will “love” working in the city before wishing him well ahead of the new season.

But Warnock, now in charge of Championship rivals Middlrsbrough, admitted the respect he has for Jokanovic does not mean next month’s meeting between the two sides is set to be a convivial affair rather than fiercely competitive encounter. READ FULL STORY HERE

Former Blade struggling after Covid-19

Former Sheffield United favourite Dean Henderson is to miss Manchester United’s pre-season training camp in Scotland as he continues to feel the effects of contracting Covid-19.

The club say the goalkeeper tested positive for the virus three weeks ago but he has yet to fully recover.

“Dean Henderson will miss Manchester United’s Scotland training camp while he continues his recovery from prolonged fatigue after contracting a COVID-19 infection three weeks ago,” Manchester United said in a short statement. READ FULL STORY HERE