Sheffield United transfer news: Dramatic step Slavisa Jokanovic might need to take to get his targets
Slavisa Jokanovic could be forced to trade players in January after outlining plans to strengthen Sheffield United’s squad.
The Serb wants to make three new signings when the transfer market reopens, with two wingers and a holding midfielder his top priorities.
However with Championship teams only permitted to select five on-loan players in their matchday squads - when Ben Davies recovers from injury, United will have four - Jokanovic might be required to sell in order to fund permanent purchases or review some of the temporary agreements his employers brokered before the August deadline.
After complaining about pressure placed upon their budget by last season’s relegation from the Premier League and the Covid-19 pandemic, nearly all of the names United acquired during the summer window were borrowed on season long deals.
Adlene Guediuora, who later moved to Bramall Lane on a 12 month basis, arrived on a free having parted company with Jokanovic’s former club Al Gharafa at the end of the Qatari Stars League season.
Having sold goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to Arsenal for an initial fee of £24m - a £6m increase on the £18m paid to acquire him from AFC Bournemouth a year earlier - United will be required to negotiate at least two outright purchases over the Christmas period if they want to fulfil Jokanovic’s wishes.
Although there is nothing to stop them brokering more loans, the former Watford and Fulham manager would prefer not to be placed in a situation whereby he is forced to consider English Football League and FA regulations as well as previous performances and tactics before selecting a starting eleven.
Unless funds are placed at his disposal, sources within the game suggest Jokanovic will consider selling players contracted to the club but on the periphery of its plans to raise the money.
A huge swathe of United’s squad could become free agents this summer, including captain Billy Sharp, Chris Basham, Lys Mousset and Ben Osborn. David McGoldrick and Luke Freeman are also among those who recently entered the final 12 months of their present deals, while Davies, Morgan Gibbs-White, Conor Hourihane and Robin Olsen are likely to rejoin their parent clubs in May.