Sheffield United: Important talks planned with international defender

Sheffield United are expected to meet with Filip Uremovic to discover if it would be possible to broker a deal which would see him remain at Bramall Lane next season before seeking guidance from both FIFA and UEFA on the issue.

Thursday, 19th May 2022, 4:32 pm

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The Croatia international is scheduled to return to Rubin Kazan later this summer after joining Paul Heckingbottom’s squad two months ago following the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine.

The two governing bodies allowed overseas players based in both countries to temporarily suspend their contracts as a result of Vladimir Putin’s invasion, before also prohibiting Russian clubs from taking part in their tournaments.

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Sheffield United signed Filip Uremovic from Rubin Kazan in March: Darren Staples / Sportimage

The politics and contract

Although a binding decision has not yet been taken, it seems unlikely Uremovic will be forced to report back for duty with Leonid Slutsky’s side given the political situation and ongoing hostilities on the ground.

However, as Heckingbottom indicated recently, United would find it impossible to match his contract with Kazan which has been described by one insider as “very, very good”. Given the 25-year-old’s desire to cement a place in Zlatko Dalic’s plans, he could also prefer a move to a team competing at the highest level of their domestic pyramid if FIFA and UEFA grant him permission to find a new employer.

Paul Heckingbottom during Filip Uremovic's unveiling at Sheffield United

United’s hopes of making an immediate return to the Premier League after being relegated last term were dashed when they were beaten on penalties by Nottingham Forest in the Championship play-off semi-finals.

Uremovic, whose registration is also thought to have been transferred to United, made three appearances for Heckingbottom’s team and was an unused substitute during the second leg of their doubleheader against Forest on Tuesday.

The reason

Although Chris Basham was parachuted back into the starting eleven following his recovery from injury - Heckingbottom explaining this was because of his attacking qualities - the United manager confirmed Uremovic had been acquired to provide cover and competition across the back three. Fellow centre-half Ben Davies, on loan from Liverpool, also watched from the bench at the City Ground.

Speaking before Basham was handed a new two year deal ahead of the doubleheader with Steve Cooper’s side, Heckingbottom said: “Filip is a very good player, as you’d expect with his CV. He wasn’t brought here just because Bash was out at the time.”