Sheffield United expected to approach Jokanovic about their managerial vacancy

Sheffield United will attempt to try and set up a meeting with Slavisa Jokanovic to discuss the managerial vacancy at Bramall Lane, The Star understands.

Saturday, 8th May 2021, 6:15 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th May 2021, 6:27 pm

After parting company with Chris Wilder in March, club officials had planned to appoint either Oostende head coach Alexander Blessin or caretaker Paul Heckingbottom as the 53-year-old’s successor.

But after today’s 2-0 defeat by Crystal Palace, sources within the game are briefing they expect United to try and arrange talks with Jokanovic’s representatives over the coming week, to try and ascertain if he would be interested in taking charge next term.

After spending two seasons in the Middle East with Al-Gharafa, the Serb is widely expected to make a return to Europe, where he won promotion from the Championship with both Watford and Fulham before heading to Qatar.

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Slavisa Jokanovic: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

Already consigned to relegation, Jokanovic’s contract in Doha is already thought to have expired and he would be a popular appointment among supporters alarmed by United’s poor form since finishing ninth in the table only 10 months ago.

Although a get-together has yet to be scheduled, and with a final decision on Wilder’s replacement yet to be made, it appears significant that United now seem ready to explore the possibility of hiring Jokanovic after privately briefing his name did not feature on the five strong shortlist referenced by chief executive Steve Bettis recently.

Heckingbottom was included on that list of potential candidates, while there are concerns about Blessin’s eligibility for a work permit under post-Brexit employment legislation.