Sheffield United: New boss's warning to his players ahead of start date tomorrow
Slavisa Jokanovic has warned Sheffield United’s players that past reputations count for nothing as he prepares to officially take charge at Bramall Lane today as the long awaited replacement for Chris Wilder.
Jokanovic will oversee his first pre-season session later this week after officially starting work at Bramall Lane following the expiry of his contract in Qatar.
Before then, United’s coaching staff provided him with regular updates on how his squad are approaching pre-season training – with particular attention paid to the attitude and application of those players linked with moves away from United.
The message, relayed in an email delivered to every member of the first team squad ahead of the return to training, was designed to ensure their work meets his exacting standards from the first session onwards.
One of the most pressing items on Jokanovic’s agenda when he officially starts is to meet with Sander Berge, Kean Bryan, Regan Slater and Jayden Bogle, who have all been linked with moves away from United this summer.
Napoli believe Sheffield United will be forced to compromise over their asking price for Sander Berge, as officials at the Serie A club refuse to withdraw their interest in the midfielder.
Officials at the San Paolo first made a move for Berge last week, with reports in Italy now suggesting that head coach Luciano Spalletti has approved sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli’s bid to try and recruit the 23-year-old.
Although Napoli’s approach came via an intermediary - direct contact between the two sides has yet to be established - they made it clear they had no intention of meeting United’s £35m valuation of a player signed for £22m only 17 months ago.
United are convinced their figure accurately reflects Berge’s worth, given that he told Genk he had no intention of agreeing a new contract before heading to England.
Slavisa Jokanovic will be officially unveiled as Sheffield United manager on Friday, when he is presented to the media during a behind closed doors event at Bramall Lane, just 24 hours after the 52-year-old takes charge.