Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic demands big say on contract extensions at Bramall Lane

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic will be surprised if he does not have a major say in deciding which members of his squad are offered contract extensions.

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 10:20 pm

As The Star revealed earlier this month, a large number of those at the Serb’s disposal for Saturday’s game against Blackpool have entered the final year of their present deals - including defender Chris Basham, who admitted last week his future at the club could be resolved in January.

Although the overwhelming majority of those are tied to agreements containing 12 month options, Jokanovic confirmed he expects to be consulted about whether or not to trigger them when Bramall lane’s board of directors convene a meeting to discuss the situation.

Stressing that football as well as finance should be factored into the decision-making process, Jokanovic said: “We don’t start, we have not started now, to take these kind of decisions. But I hope I will be important in this situation when we need to take them.

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Slavisa Jokanovic, the Sheffield United manager, wants the big say on which of his plauers are offered new deals: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“At the end, this decision right now is not on my table. We don’t start. But if you ask me what my role will be, if my role is not more (one of the most) important roles, well I signed the contract to be manager of the club. So maybe I can check it (to see) if it says something different.”

As well as taking care of their internal housekeeping, United must also begin applying the finishing touches to their plans for the January transfer window over the coming weeks to avoid repeating the mistakes they made last summer. With progress initially proving painfully slow, Jokanovic was forced to start the new season without any new faces at his disposal. With United still coming to terms with being relegated from the Premier League, the fact he was forced to wait until August before reinforcements were acquired was a huge factor behind their disappointing results at the beginning of Jokanovic’s reign. United enter their meeting with Neil Critchley’s side in 14th, but only three points outside the top six.

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Despite stressing his focus is on improving those already in situ, Jokanovic has instructed United’s talent spotters to identify potential candidates to fill the vacancy for a winger he believes exists within the group which beat Barnsley 3-2 four days ago.

Sheffield United defender Chris Basham is one of those players on the closing stages of their present contracts: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Amad Diallo, the Manchester United youngster, featured on his wish-list soon after being appointed in May but is unlikely to be a realistic target now. However, United's coaching staff are still thought to retain an interest in Barcelona's Alex Collado.

“Listen, this is part of the job too,” Jokanovic said. “We try and adapt some players in different positions. We are successful with some, Others we aren’t so much. This is part of your work.

“To be honest, the transfer window is not my priority this week. I am thinking about different things.

“The recruitment department is giving me some information about what can happen. From another side, some players need to open their mind and be ready to be on the field. But some positions we maybe need.”

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic is preparing his team to play Blackpool at Bramall Lane in the Championship: Simon Bellis / Sportimage