Sheffield United: Blades hope Slav will be the key to transfer breakthrough

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Sheffield United hope Slavisa Jokanovic’s relationship with Harvey Elliott will put them in pole position to sign the Liverpool youngster if they decide to enter the race for his services.

United, who Jokanovic believes are close to making a breakthrough in the transfer market following nearly two months of inactivity, have been monitoring Elliott’s situation at Anfield ahead of the new Premier League season.

Although they have yet to make an official approach, the Championship club have let it be known they would be interested in bringing the winger to South Yorkshire if he is allowed to leave Jurgen Klopp’s side on loan.

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If Klopp does decide to let Elliott depart, a number of top-flight and EFL teams are expected to make representations to the German after watching him impress for Blackburn Rovers last term.

Slavisa Jokanovic: Simon Bellis / SportimageSlavisa Jokanovic: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Slavisa Jokanovic: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

But after handing Elliott his professional debut when they worked together at Fulham, United believe Jokanovic’s presence could persuade Klopp to send the teenager to Bramall Lane where he would again link-up with the manager who kickstarted his career.

Elliott was only 15-years-old when the Serb selected him for an EFL Cup tie at Millwall, with Liverpool later paying an undisclosed sum to take him to the North-West. He scored seven goals in 41 league appearances for Rovers during the previous campaign, as Tony Mowbray’s team finished 15th in the table.

Despite inheriting a squad which had just been relegated from the top-flight when he officially took charge on July 1st, Jokanovic has ruled out major changes during the summer window.

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However, the opportunity to coach Elliott again would prove impossible for him to resist.

Klopp, however, is by no means certain to farm-out the England youth international again; particularly after watching him impress during pre-season.

A decision on his future is likely to be taken next week, with United asking to be kept abreast of any developments.

Another Liverpool player - centre-half Ben Davies - has also been linked with a move to United as Jokanovic looks to bolster his defensive options while Manchester United’s James Garner is said to be another option. The 20-year-old, considered to be one of the best youngsters on the Old Trafford payroll, has previously spent time on loan with Watford and Nottingham Forest.

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Forest are also monitoring Garner’s situation in the North-West as they attempt to bring him back for another spell at the City Ground. However, United are thought to be ready to try and recruit Garner on a permanent basis. Given his reputation at Manchester United, though, Garner is unlikely to be sold unless a ‘first refusal’ clause is written into any deal.

United entered into a similar agreement with Liverpool when they acquired striker Rhian Brewster for a club record fee last summer and could be prepared to do the same again, taking advantage of tgeir close ties with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side following Dean Henderson’s two year stay in South Yorkshire.

United return to competitive action when Birmingham City make the journey north on Saturday.