Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic refuses to be drawn on links to centre-half

Slavisa Jokanovic has refused to be drawn on claims Sheffield United were interested in Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Dion Sanderson before his temporary switch to Birmingham City, reminding that he prefers his clubs to do business in private rather than through the media.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 3:15 pm

United are among a number of clubs known to have monitored Sanderson’s progress at Sunderland last season, after he was loaned to the Wearsiders to further his development.

With defeat in the League One play-offs effectively ending their chances of signing the centre-half 0on a permanent basis, both United and Newcastle were understood to have made discreet enquiries about his availability ahead of City’s decisive swoop.

As The Star reported last week, Wolves planned to send Sanderson out on loan again before reaching a permanent decision on his future at Molineux. After persuading him to agree a new long term contract, that has persuaded them to sanction the youngster's move to City who face United during the opening round of Championship games.

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Speaking during his official unveiling earlier this month - five weeks after first agreeing to succeed Chris Wilder at the helm - Jokanovic confirmed he views the temporary transfer market as an important source of talent this summer.

However, as he prepares to finalise his list of targets, the former Yugoslavia international admitted that is the extent of the detail he is willing to provide.

“I see gossip in the newspapers, yes I read it as I’ve said before,” Jokanovic said. “We all read it, even if we say we don’t.

“Some of it I hope is true. Some of it I hope isn’t. That’s what I’ll say.”

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic
Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic

With Phil Jagielka being released at the end of his contract and Kean Bryan unlikely to return despite being offered a new deal, Jokanovic wants to recruit at least one defender before United return to competitive action on August 7. Rhys Norrington-Davies who represented Wales at the European Championships despite still waiting to make his senior debut for United, is expected to be granted another opportunity to impress Jokanovic during Wednesday’s friendly against Doncaster Rovers.

“Young players can always come through and change things,” Jokanovic said, after expressing his satisfaction with Norrington-Davies’ performance against Europa Point seven days ago. “Things are fluid all the time.”