The agreement between Sheffield United and Al-Gharafa that allowed Slavisa Jokanovic's appointment to be confirmed

Slavisa Jokanovic will keep a discreet distance from Sheffield United until he officially begins work at Bramall Lane in July, out of respect for his present employers Al-Gharafa.

Sunday, 30th May 2021, 2:00 pm

Despite being confirmed as Chris Wilder’s successor last week, Jokanovic will fulfil his contractual obligations with the Qatari club before moving to South Yorkshire.

Jokanovic’s decision to remain on the payroll at the Thani bin Jassim Stadium suits all three parties involved, and was responsible for paving the way for his appointment by United to be announced on Thursday.

As well as buying Al-Gharafa time to identify a replacement, by remaining in the Middle East until June 30, Jokanovic spared United owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud the job of negotiating a settlement with his counterpart in Doha.

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Slavisa Jokanovic will officially take over at Sheffield United later this summer: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Although Jokanovic is likely to have discussed transfer targets and strategy with Prince Abdullah when they met over lunch in Geneva three days ago, players and officials who have worked with the Serb in the past report he is a stickler for protocol. Hence his decision to reassure Al-Gharafa that he will not exploit the situation by increasing his profile at United whilst still drawing a salary from the team he led into the Asian Champions League qualifiers last term.

Nevertheless, unveiling Jokanovic will allow United to press ahead with the business of preparing their squad for next season’s return to the Championship after being relegated from the Premier League last season. Paul Heckingbottom, who took over as caretaker following Chris Wilder’s departure in March, was responsible for drawing-up their pre-season plans.