Sheffield United: How Slavisa Jokanovic plans to convince England star his future is best served by rejecting Arsenal's advances
Aaron Ramsdale will be told he is a crucial part of Sheffield United’s plan to regain their Premier League status at the first attempt when he sits down to discuss his future with new manager Slavisa Jokanovic.
Ramsdale, who is on duty with England ahead of tonight’s European Championship semi-final against Denmark, has emerged as a target for Arsenal since United’s relegation last season.
Although the goalkeeper spoke of “putting down roots” at Bramall Lane before being drafted into Gareth Southgate’s squad, there are fears the Londoners will try and tempt him into a u-turn by letting it be known that playing Championship football next term is unlikely to enhance his international prospects when the tournament concludes.
Aware of the tactics Mikel Arteta’s employers will use to try and unsettle the goalkeeper, Jokanovic has decided to leave Ramsdale in no doubt about his importance to the United cause during talks scheduled for next week.
Despite Southgate’s ban on players talking about their club affairs until after either the meeting with the Scandinavians or Sunday’s final, Jokanovic used his official unveiling on Friday to confirm he wants to keep both Ramsdale and midfielder Sander Berge, who is also being monitored by Arsenal.
With United braced to receive a multi-million pound from the 13-time champions of England within the next fortnight, Jokanovic has told his board of directors he will hold talks with Ramsdale at the first possible opportunity.
Those are likely to take place on Zoom, and will see the Serb tell Ramsdale he views him as a vital member of the squad he hopes to lead to promotion next term. Jokanovic is also considering revealing some of his transfer targets to Ransdale if he detects the 23-year-old’s desire to remain in South Yorkshire is wavering.
Although Arsenal have no intention of meeting United’s £40m valuation of a player signed for £18.5m only 11 months ago, they believe the amount they will offer should be enough to prove they are serious.
Ramsdale progressed through United’s youth system before being sold to AFC Bournemouth in 2017. He spent three years at Dean Court before rejoining his former club.