Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic addresses the futures of Sander Berge and Aaron Ramsdale amid Arsenal link
Slavisa Jokanovic has admitted he will be “hurt” if Sander Berge and Aaron Ramsdale leave Sheffield United during the transfer window, insisting neither player is unhappy at Bramall Lane despite attracting interest from Arsenal.
Jokanovic, who also suggested United are close to making their first new signings since he took charge earlier this month, made the admission after selecting both in his starting eleven for the friendly against Doncaster Rovers.
Ramsdale, who returned to South Yorkshire earlier this week after representing Englnd at Euro 2020, is understood to have been the subject of two unofficial bids from Mikel Arteta’s side with a third in the pipeline.
Berge, who also interests Napoli, Atalanta and Lazio, spoke of his desire to compete at European level again before United were relegated from the Premier League last season having appeared in both the Champions League and Europa League for his former club Genk.
Jokanovic, who confirmed he wants to retain the duo’s services next term, told The Star: “Of course I will be hurt if they go, because I do not detect any unhappiness from them. I do not feel, having worked and been around them, that they are unhappy to be here or with us.
“They are quality players. I am surrounded by quality players here. But everyone knows their qualities.”
Asked either Berge or Ramsdale, who United value at £35m and £40m respectively, have attracted concrete approaches, Jokanovic replied: “I don’t read English newspapers. I prefer to read the ones from my own country. Seriously, of course I am aware of situations and what is being said. But for me, I am very happy with their commitment and their attitude. I am happy with the commitment and the attitude of all of the players. It pleases me.”
Two goals from Lys Mousset helped United cruise to a 4-0 win at the Keepmoat Stadium, with Oliver Burke and substitute Luke Freeman also writing their names on the scoresheet.
Despite expressing his satisfaction with the calibre of United’s squad, Jokanovic, who took charge on July 1st, has previously acknowledged it needs a “little refresh” ahead of next month’s return to competitive action. Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott, Peru under-23 international Yuriel Celi and Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane have all been linked with loan moves to United in recent weeks.
“We have talked about ambition and we have ambition,” Jokanovic said. “Now it is time for action.
“I have spoken to the club and they tell me we are very close to doing something, that we are making progress and something should happen soon.”
“We want to do something, yes, and I am sure we will,” Jokanovic added. “We have handed a list (of targets) and work has been going on (behind the scenes). There is plenty going on and, I stress, we want the right people here because we are trying different things. But like I say, I am told we are close and that the club is pleased with the progress that is being made. Something should happen soon, which is good.”