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EXCLUSIVE: Fulham ward off Sheff Utd as big fee is set for Cairney deal

Fulham won’t make a decision on their playing staff – including the in-demand Tom Cairney – until they have made a final decision on manager Scott Parker’s future, TEAMtalk can reveal.

Parker’s future at Craven Cottage remains shrouded in doubt. Indeed, Fulham’s hierarchy are far from impressed with stories emerging from his camp that he felt let down by their transfer business. The Cottagers eventually lost their battle to avoid the drop and will start 2021/22 back in the Championship.

It is far from certain whether Parker will lead their campaign back in the second tier.

As a result, former Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic will have to wait to see if he can land his top target Cairney.

We can confirm that Cairney is on Jokanovic’s wanted list at Sheffield United. Cairney was the lynchpin in Jokanvoic’s hugely impressive Fulham side which he guided to promotion in 2019.

Cairney suffered an injury-ravaged campaign in the Premier League which limited him to just 10 games. Indeed, he is yet to kick a competitive ball in 2021; his last outing being a 1-1 draw with Newcastle on December 19.

Cairney won’t come cheap as he has three years left on his current contract. Indeed, the Blades are likely to be hit with a near £10m asking price for the midfielder. Nonetheless, Jokanovic is determined to test Fulham’s resolve.

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Jokanovic honoured to take Sheffield United job

Jokanovic, meanwhile, is very much looking forward to the prospect of returning to English football.

“I’m honoured to become the manager of this historic football club and I’m grateful to Prince Abdullah bin Mosa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Yusuf Giansiracusa and Stephen Bettis for trusting in me to start this new chapter for the Blades,” Jokanovic told the club’s website.

“We all share the same long-term vision, passion and ambition for Sheffield United.

“I’m excited to work in English football again. I’m looking forward to getting started with the players and staff. I can’t wait to meet our passionate, loyal supporters as we prepare for the challenge in the Championship.

“I want to assure our amazing fans that we’re fully committed to helping the team achieve its goals. We want to make you feel proud. With your support, we can make Bramall Lane a fortress. I have no doubt that your voice will make a big difference to the team after so long without you last season.

“Let’s work together to get Sheffield United back to where the club belongs.”


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