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The inside track of Sheffield United talks with Slavisa Jokanovic – how Blades named their new boss UK News

But Sheffield United finally got their man. And the good man too, after being confirmed, Slavisa Jokanovic has accepted the challenge of leading them to promotion next season.

It says a lot about the Serbian’s position both on and off the pitch, as his name was on the list of candidates compiled by the Bramall Lane board of directors and deemed credible not only among supporters, but also among a team of players many of whom are still in shock. of relegation and the departure of Chris Wilder in March.

There is no guarantee. But there is recognition, in South Yorkshire and beyond, that by hiring Jokanovic United they got the real deal. Someone capable of ushering in a new era of success after Wilder’s remarkable achievements at the helm.

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“Over the past two months, the club have embarked on a rigorous recruiting process in our search for the right person to take Sheffield United forward,” United owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said yesterday. , on its official website. “After a thorough assessment, it was evident that Slavisa was the man we needed at the helm.”

Despite being the obvious choice and the option that stands out, United’s path to signing Jokanovic was far from smooth. When The Star first announced their interest in the former Chelsea and Partizan Belgrade midfielder, United sources began to privately report what were considered to be friendly media contacts they had. first investigated the possibility of appointing him before Christmas; when it became evident that Wilder’s relationship with members of Prince Abdullah’s inner circle was irreparably deteriorating. However, it is believed that an agent unrelated to Jokanovic but nonetheless eager to work his way into any future deal has muddied the waters to such an extent United hierarchy has called for a halt to their information-gathering exercise. .

Perhaps this explains why, when Wilder’s exit was announced almost 11 weeks ago, Jokanovic was not initially considered a candidate to replace the man who delivered two promotions and a ninth-place top. level before the decay of the last trimester. Indeed, it took eight more for United to rekindle his interest. After, of course, having publicly flirted with Alexander Blessin of KV Oostende, only to find out that the German would not qualify for a work permit. It was then, having also floated the idea of ​​handing the job over to goalkeeper Paul Heckingbottom on a permanent basis, they accepted the inevitable – Jokanovic’s stature, presence and CV were impossible to ignore.

“At Slavisa, we appointed a manager who would have been on the radar of many clubs around the world,” noted United general manager Steve Bettis. “And we think his decision to come to Bramall Lane shows the club’s continued global reach.”

Slavisa Jokanovic to take office at the end of next month: Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

Contact between the two sides was first established, via Zoom, the morning after United’s loss to Crystal Palace on March 8. Although Heckingbottom ultimately reversed the results, winning three of his last six matches at the helm unable to delay the inevitable, the performance against visitors to south London was abject.

After studying the footage of the match and assessing some of those who might later be available to him, Jokanovic confirmed that he was still excited about the idea of ​​succeeding Wilder having decided not to renew his contract with Al-Gharafa. – the Qatari formation in which he joined. 2019, having previously led Watford and Fulham out of the Championship.

A second round of discussions took place approximately 72 hours later, still on the videoconferencing platform, intended to discuss salary demands and recruitment budgets. Although there were differences of opinion, neither the people of Jokanovic nor the people of United thought they were insurmountable. And so it proved that late Monday night, as this newspaper has since discovered, the 52-year-old delivered a message to Prince Abdullah that he would agree to the owner’s terms. He then spent Tuesday planning his exit from Doha – dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s with lawyers – before having lunch with Prince Abdullah and Abdullah Alghamdi, who heads the United World project, at Geneva.

“After a difficult season, it’s a good day for all Blades fans,” said interim president Yusef Giansiracusa. “Stephen, my colleague director Jan van Winckel and our technical team conducted an excellent and thorough research process and we believe the result speaks for itself.”

Slavisa Jokanovic is Sheffield United’s new manager: Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

“I would also like to take this opportunity on behalf of everyone at the football club to express my gratitude to Paul for the great job he has done during a difficult time,” added Giansiracusa, praising …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-27 17:40:02