Sheffield United Transfer News: Rivals still eyeing move for defender amid clear Blades stance

Championship side eyeing move for 24-year-old as Sheffield United's stance becomes clearer

Sheffield United are set to step up their preparations for the new term by taking on Doncaster Rovers in their latest pre-season friendly tomorrow.

After being drafted in as Chris Wilder's permanent successor, Slavisa Jokanovic will be hoping to use his previous experiences at this level to his advantage next season.

The Serbian led Fulham and Watford to the Premier League during his respective spells at these two clubs and will fancy his chances of replicating this feat at Bramall Lane next year.

Whilst Jokanovic has yet to put his own stamp on United's squad, it is surely only a matter of time before he drafts in some fresh faces.

One of the areas that the Blades boss may need to address in the coming weeks is the centre-back position.

The Championship outlet are no longer able to call upon the services of Phil Jagielka whilst it is looking increasingly likely that another individual is set to move on to pastures new this summer.

Despite being offered a new contract by the Blades last month, Kean Bryan has yet to sign this particular deal and is now officially a free-agent.

A report from Football Insider on Saturday suggested that Middlesbrough were reportedly keeping tabs on the defender's situation ahead of a potential move.

Bryan was limited to 12 starts for United in the top-flight last season as he struggled to overtake the likes of Chris Basham and John Egan in the pecking order.

According to the Northern Echo, Boro manager Neil Warnock is indeed interested in signing Bryan with Jokanovic adopting a clear stance regarding the defender.

The 72-year-old is also looking into the possibility of sealing a deal for Cardiff City full-back Ciaron Brown as he looks to complete a double swoop ahead of the club's opening weekend clash with Fulham.

A separate report from the Sheffield Star last week revealed that the Blades were planning for the new season on the basis that Bryan will not be at the club.

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Although Bryan did show some signs of promise during his time with the Blades, they may not necessarily miss him during the upcoming campaign providing that Jokanovic is able to draft in a replacement who possesses a wealth of second-tier experience.

Having missed out on signing Dion Sanderson and Matt Clarke already this summer, United will need to act swiftly in order to secure the services of future targets as a failure to do so may have a negative impact on the club's fortunes in the Championship.

When you consider that Bryan has yet to make an appearance at this level, there is no guarantee that he will be able to deliver the goods in the second-tier if he seals a move to Middlesbrough.

Providing that Jokanovic is able to nail his recruitment between now and the end of the transfer window, it wouldn't be at all surprising if he guides the Blades to a positive start to the season later this year in Bryan's absence.

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