Sheffield United boss not entertaining notion of Celtic signing George Baldock
New Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic has frustratingly claimed that he doesn’t expect players to be leaving the club this summer amidst Celtic links to George Baldock.
Last week, it was reported by the Daily Record that Baldock was back in Celtic’s sights this year. There was a previous interest in the player back in 2019, but after Sheffield’s relegation to the Championship last season, the possibility came up again.
The Sheffield Star reported on Thursday that Celtic were willing to spend between £5m-£8m. This is said to be after Ange Postecoglou agreed to pursue the Englishman once again.
Celtic have since managed to strengthen at right-back via the signing of Osaze Urhoghide. However, any pursuit of Baldock won’t be easy after Blades boss Jokanovic dismissed all transfer talk yesterday. Interestingly though, he decided not to name Baldock specifically despite identifying other deals he didn’t want to go through.
As quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Jokanovic said: “I do not expect players to leave. I don’t have any benefits from this.
“Sander and Aaron are mentioned. These are among the best two players in my squad. If they stay I will be really happy. First of all, I am talking about the Norwegian guy (Berge). I have some information about it being some kind of possibility. I have not had an opportunity to talk with him, but the first time I speak with him I will encourage him to stay with us.
“The same with Aaron, he is one of the best keepers in England and is in my squad. I don’t have any interest in pushing him out. I am talking about his quality and his personality is important in the dressing room. I want to stay with him.”
Sheffield United manager doesn’t specify reported Celtic target George Baldock
Interesting to note that the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Sander Berge got a mention. However, Jokanovic didn’t specify Baldock as a particular deal he didn’t want to go through.
Even so, the message is clear. Sheffield United appear in no real urgent need to cash in on their top players. The goal there seems to be to hang onto all of their top talents to push for immediate promotion next season.
This could, however, simply be a manager trying to build up a relationship with his new fanbase. Jokanovic will know fans don’t want to hear about talk of player departures. Talking up your desire to keep your best players will always help ingratiate yourself into supporters’ good books.
The Sheffield Star stated on Thursday that Celtic are confident the Blades will lower their asking price. It’s said that Celtic are confident of coming to an agreement over Baldock. So something will have to give at some stage.
The problem we now have is that any deal for Baldock will make the new Sheffield manager look a touch silly. To go talking about keeping your best players only to immediately sell one wouldn’t be a good look.
We’ll keep you informed of all of the latest updates on Baldock to Celtic. But, certainly from the outside, there doesn’t appear to be a hunger from Sheffield to make any progress on this deal.