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How Slavisa Jokanovic went from not being on Sheffield United shortlist to reported number one target

Slavisa Jokanovic is now the number one target for Sheffield United in their search for a new manager.

That’s according to The Sun, who report that the Blades hierarchy are “chasing” Jokanovic.

This is quite the turnaround from just last week, when the 52-year-old wasn’t even on the shortlist to become Chris Wilder’s permanent successor at Bramall Lane.

Club CEO, Stephen Bettis, announced that there were five candidates being considered – with current caretaker boss, Paul Heckingbottom, one of them.

Yet now Jokanovic is wanted by United and looks to be a very viable choice.

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The Serbian has spent the past two years in Qatar with Al-Gharafa. He enjoyed success too, guiding them to the qualifying rounds of the AFC Champions League this season.

Now Jokanovic is coming to the end of his contract and is looking to return to English football.

He has twice been promoted from the Championship in the past with Watford and Fulham and believes he can repeat the feat with the Blades at the first time of asking.

How did Slavisa Jokanovic become No.1 choice?

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Since the announcement of that five-man shortlist, the United board have had a rethink.

Their initial first choice was Alexander Blessin. However, it now seems highly unlikely the current Oostende manager will get a work permit to move to England.

Heckingbottom was another serious contender. While club bosses remain impressed with how he has conducted himself since taking over from Wilder, results under the 43-year-old have been disappointing.

The South Yorkshire side have lost seven of their eight matches since Heckingbottom took charge. Not only that, but recent performances against Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace were extremely poor.

Lincoln City’s Michael Appleton is also believed to be on the shortlist. Meanwhile, Clube Brugge boss, Philippe Clement, remains an option if Jokanovic isn’t appointed.

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