Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic reveals the details of his talks with Arsenal target Aaron Ramsdale, as Ronaldo Vieira prepares to join The Blades

Slavisa Jokanovic says Aaron Ramsdale understands why he is urging Sheffield United’s hierarchy not to sell him to Arsenal, despite appearing to suggest the goalkeeper has expressed an interest in exploring the possibility of a move to the Emirates Stadium.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 5:00 am

Jokanovic, who also confirmed he expects Sampdoria’s Ronaldo Vieira to be unveiled as United’s first summer signing next week, told The Star he outlined his position to Ramsdale when they met for talks earlier this week.

After seeing two unofficial offers for Ramsdale rejected by Bramall Lane’s board of directors, Arsenal have suggested they are now exploring alternative options in the transfer market as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his squad. But Jokanovic suspects that is a smokescreen designed to drive down United’s £40m asking price.

“I am not political with my players,” Jokanovic said. “I am really honest and I am an ex-player myself.

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Aaron Ramsdale: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“I understand him and he understands my position too. I am not a guy that will push to sell him. I can’t add anything more or less to that.

“I explain to him clearly that if it is down to nme, he will stay. But I don’t have this level of power.”

Acknowledging he was made aware of Arsenal’s desire to sign Ramsdale before taking charge of United last month, Jokanovic continued: “The club gave me the information. I try to use that information now because we are in a situation.

“He (Ramsdale) understands my position and I understand his. I say ‘Let’s make this work together.’

Slavisa Jokanovic: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“I don’t want to tell you exactly what he said he wants to do. But I understand him perfectly. He is focused and working hard.

"I told him I can’t stop him. But he accepts my words in a good way. I was informed before I signed the contract that this is the possibility. He will stay with us, if it is in my hands, this is part of business. We will see what decision the club makes.”

After being impressed with Ramsdale’s professionalism despite the uncertainty surrounding his future, Jokanovic selected the 23-year-old for last weekend’s season opener against Birmingham City. Ramsdale is set to start again when United, who lost 1-0 to Lee Bowyer’s side, return to league action at Swansea City tomorrow following Tuesday’s EFL Cup win over Carlisle.

Vieira, who progressed through Leeds’ youth system before moving to Genoa in 2018, is scheduled to begin training with United following their return from south Wales after the terms of his loan move from the Luigi Ferraris Stadium were agreed. Although a disagreement about who is liable to pay the tax on the facility fee the midfielder’s employers have negotiated has complicated discussions, United expect the details to be ironed out within 48 hours.

Ronaldo Vieira of UC Sampdoria and Mario Pasalic of Atalanta BC during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria and Atalanta BC at Stadio Luigi Ferraris: Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

“Vieira, he is an experienced player and he knows the competition,” Jokanovic said. “He can add more power and more quality. I play with all of my midfielders against Birmingham. I need some more options. Our expectation is high and we expect he can be an important player for us.”