Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic prepares to submit his transfer demands to the board
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Sheffield United manager, has begun compiling the list of transfer targets he will shortly present to Bramall Lane’s hierarchy ahead of the January transfer window.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s game against Reading, Jokanovic told The Star talks have taken place with members of the club’s recruitment department in order identify potential candidates for the vacancies he believes still exist within his squad.
“I am working with the recruitment department and am in daily contact with them,” Jokanovic told The Star. “We are not in a position where we can say ‘I want him and he will sign’. I am not saying ‘we need this guy and if we don’t get him then nothing will happen.’
“But we are constantly talking and looking at the situation.”
Having cited a lack of width as a factor behind United’s disappointing results so far this term, Jokanovic wants to sign two wingers when the market reopens after Christmas while a holding midfielder will also feature among his demands. Ronaldo Vieira, previously of Leeds, had been set to arrive in South Yorkshire last summer until fitness and health issues scuppered his loan move from Sampdoria. Barcelona’s Alex Collado was also poised to join until United’s owners aborted the deal, briefing that the youngster’s agent had tried to change its terms. Those claims were later denied by Collado’s representative, with the 22-year-old still understood to interest Jokanovic.
However, United’s board of directors briefed they wanted to adopt a more collaborative approach towards buying and selling players before the Serb was unveiled as Chris Wilder’s successor in May.
Disagreements about squad development contributed to the breakdown in Wilder’s relationship with senior figures behind the scenes, only two years after he led United to a ninth placed finish in the Premier League.
With United travelling to the Select Car Leasing Stadium ranked 17th in the table - three places and three points above their latest opponents - Jokanovic said: “We are talking about how the team is balanced. We miss some characteristics of players. Even in training, we need to find different ways of organising if we want to play with three centre backs or two strikers or one.
“Sometimes I miss these characteristics. I repeat, we gave good quality in the squad but we do miss (certain) characteristics.”