While Manchester United’s pursuit of Erling Haaland is dominating the headlines these days, it’s worth remembering the club still retain transfer interest in Jadon Sancho. The England international was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s top target last summer, only for the Red Devils to miss out. They’ve signed one alternative to the winger in Daniel James in the past – but the Wales international still doesn’t look ready to play on a regular basis.
Over the weekend, it emerged that United do have terms for a potential Sancho deal.
They’re ready to pursue the England international if Borussia Dortmund lower their asking price, especially in the wake of his inconsistent displays at the Westfalenstadion over the full course of the campaign.
United, last summer, wanted to do a deal.
But, at £108million, they simply couldn’t vindicate paying such a high fee at a time where the coronavirus crisis was raging on.
At the end of the current campaign, it’s looking increasingly likely that Sancho will be available for a discounted fee.
Valuations are set to change after the pandemic and United could find themselves having the funds at their disposal for a blockbuster summer deal.
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United have already signed one Sancho alternative in James, who touched down at the club back in the summer transfer window of 2019 from Swansea.
That year, Solskjaer craved the arrival of the Dortmund star.
He felt the 21-year-old would be a top asset for the Red Devils, especially given their problems with right wingers in the years since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.
But United, after finding themselves out of the Champions League, were unable to get a deal over the line.
Sancho wasn’t willing to leave the Westfalenstadion for a side who would be strutting their stuff in the Europa League, rather than it’s more attractive sister competition.
And so United were forced to go for James instead.
The problem for the club is, however, that two years on and that remains a problematic position for the club.
James has been a good squad player. Yet Solskjaer still doesn’t appear to entirely trust the Wales international, whose lack of consistency remains a major problem.
Amad and Facundo Pellistri both arrived but they’re not Sancho alternatives. Instead, they’re very much players for the future rather than the now.
And Mason Greenwood is a better striker than he is a winger, even if the 19-year-old has struggled for goals when deployed in both positions.
United may very well want Haaland.
And that’s easy to see why given the Borussia Dortmund star has scored a sensational 31 goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League combined this term.
But Sancho would be a signing that makes even more sense.
And while Ousmane Dembele has been linked, there can be no denying the Dortmund star represents a far greater upgrade to the Barcelona forward.
United may find new signings tricky this summer, however, with Solskjaer already warning fans about the impact the coronavirus could have on their spending.
“[The pandemic] is definitely affecting everyone in football. Of course the lack of income, the finances have affected everyone,” he said.
“We have to be realistic and responsible in the way we do our business both on and off the pitch. There are improvements on the training ground, stadium – we have to look at the whole picture.
“Where can we spend the money? And how much is there? It’s just the real world now. It has changed.”
He then added: “You can look at it different ways [with a] rebuild. We also have players in the academy that we now can maybe give opportunities.
“All clubs in the world are going through the same situation so it’s no different for other clubs than for us. I think there’s just going to be less and less transfers happening in the world of football with all these changes.”