Sheffield United have not given up on hiring Alexander Blessin as their new manager.
The Sheffield Star reports that Blessin is the club’s number one target to succeed Chris Wilder on a permanent basis.
The Blades hierarchy have been impressed with the job the 47-year-old has done at Oostende this season.
Previously a youth coach at RB Leipzig, Blessin took his first managerial post last summer.
The German guided Oostende to fifth in the regular season and they beat Standard Liege 6-2 at the weekend in their first Europa League playoff match.
Jan van Winckel – who is a board member at Bramall Lane and is effectively owner Prince Abdullah’s director of football – is particularly keen on Blessin.
Van Winckel has strong connections in Belgium. It led to Beerschot being acquired by the United World Group and the signing of Sander Berge.
However, there are problems when it comes to hiring Blessin. The main one being Brexit.
New rules mean that non-British nationals wanting to work in key positions in English football must acquire a Governing Body Endorsement.
Blessin is unlikely to meet the criteria for this, but United aren’t giving up just yet.
How Sheffield United plan to hire Alexander Blessin
Blades owner Prince Abdullah is investigating ways they might still be able to appoint Blessin.
The club’s interim chairman, Yusef Giansiracusa, is also a professional lawyer and is helping the Saudi prince explore the options.
They’re hoping to convince an appeal panel to grant special dispensation for Blessin.
However, according to The Sheffield Star they’re unlikely to be successful.
If that is the case, then United will have to turn to someone else on their five-man shortlist.
Current caretaker boss, Paul Heckingbottom, is the only person known to be included. Yet the presumption is Blessin is another.