Tom Cairney: Sheffield United will be keeping tabs on how midfielder responds to unrest at his current club
Sheffield United will monitor Tom Cairney’s response to the uncertainty surrounding Fulham’s preparations for the new Championship season before deciding whether or not to test the Londoners’ resolve to keep the midfielder.
Cairney worked under new United manager Slavisa Jokanovic during the Serb’s spell in charge at Craven Cottage, and speaks in glowing terms about the 52-year-old’s ability and qualities.
With Jokanovic’s predecessor Scott Parker set to take charge of AFC Bournemouth, Fulham’s plans for an immediate return to the Premier League face being thrown into disarray.
Although United are unlikely to meet the £10m valuation officials there have reportedly slapped on Cairney - particularly as he turned 30 in January - they could decide to try and broker a compromise if the Scotland international shows signs of growing unsettled in the capital.
Bolstering his options in the centre of the pitch is one of Jokanovic’s top priorities this summer. Sander Berge, who is attracting interest from Napoli, Arsenal and Aston Villa, is set to depart after United also surrendered their PL status while John Lundstram’s contract expires at the end of the month. The Liverpudlian, who is thought to feature on the wanted-lists of both Burnley and Rangers, refused the offer of a new deal before Jokanovic’s appointment in May.
Cairney, who started his professional career with Hull City after being released by Leeds as a youngster, joined Fulham in 2015 following a spell with Blackburn Rovers.
He was a member of the squad Jokanovic led to promotion from the second tier in 2018 and has twice been named in the PFA Championship team of the year.