Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic issues a transfer directive to Bramall Lane's board

Slavisa Jokanovic, the Sheffield United manager, would prefer to focus on brokering permanent transfers rather than loans during the January window.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 5:00 am

Although he accepts that at least one of the three players he wants are likely to arrive on a temporary deal - with Barcelona’s Alex Collado still thought to be of interest - Jokanovic does not want to be placed in a situation whereby FA and EFL legislation influences his team selections.

The governing bodies only permit clubs to name five ‘borrowed’ players in their matchday squads, with four already at the Serb’s disposal. Three of those - Morgan Gibbs-White, Robin Olsen and Ben Davies - form part of Jokanovic’s preferred starting eleven, with Conor Hourihane challenging Oliver Norwood and John Fleck for a place in midfield.

Speaking earlier this month, Jokanovic told The Star he is focused on arresting United’s slump in form rather than plotting what he hopes will be a season-defining recruitment drive. However, behind the scenes, a list of potential targets is known to have been presented to directors following talks with Bramall Lane’s scouting department.

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As well as drafting in two new wingers, Jokanovic also wants to acquire a holding midfielder capable of providing greater protection for a back four which has conceded nine goals in United’s last five outings. Sampdoria’s Ronaldo Vieira, previously of Leeds, was scheduled to arrive before the August deadline but that deal was abandoned when it emerged he was suffering from previously undetected injury and an underlying health issue.

Ben Davies is on loan at Sheffield United from Liverpool: Simon Bellis/ Sportimage
Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic wants to sign three players in January: Simon Bellis / Sportimage