Could United Break Premier League Transfer Record for Sancho?
Manchester United are wanting to take Jadon Sancho to Old Trafford this summer.
Premier League football has returned, and with it the speculation over big money transfers that traditionally accompanies Europe’s most expensive domestic league at this time of year.
Of course, things are a little different in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic shutdown means that Premier League clubs are playing catch-up, scrambling to complete the 2019-20 season in front of empty stadia. And those unusual circumstances, along with the difficulties associated with coping with three months without football, have put more pressure on some clubs than others.
On the face of it, Manchester United are one of the more favourably placed clubs in the division. Going into the shut down they had found some form, and they have more money to spend than most of their main rivals at the top of the table.
But manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows that his team is still some way from the finished article, and is particularly light on options going forward. That explains the club’s decision to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan period to the end of January. There have been rumours of interest in veteran attacker Willian, but Solskjaer is known to favour younger, British players. That explains United’s ongoing interest in high profile English youngster Jadon Sancho, who Solskjaer clearly feels could be the leading man for United next year.
Sancho is grabbing the headlines not just because of his prodigious talent, but also due to the price that United may have to pay to bring him to Old Trafford. The current asking price is reported to be between £100 million and £120 million, a hefty price tag for a player who only cost Borussia Dortmund £10 million back in 2017.
United are no strangers to big spending, of course. In fact, when it comes to Premier League transfer records, the Old Trafford club occupy the top three spots in the rankings, thanks to the signings of Romelu Lukaku (£75 million), Harry Maguire (£78 million) and Paul Pogba (£89 million). So it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see them set yet another new spending record, with speculation also suggesting a possible £200 million bid for England captain Harry Kane.
Sancho is regarded as one of the hottest properties in European football and some pundits feel that he could be one of the greats. That means if United are to swoop for the former Manchester City player, they will be facing some stiff competition. There has reportedly been interest in the player from Real Madrid, Liverpool and his old club, City, although no formal bid has been received.
Still, there are reasons to believe that United are in pole position for a number of reasons. Real are known to favour buying the Bayer Leverkusen winger Kai Havertz, while Liverpool reportedly have reservations over the fee involved, and the player’s disciplinary record at Dortmund. And City are likely to be prioritising other areas of the team, despite the loss of winger Leroy Sane. Staying in Dortmund could also be an option for Sancho, although that seems increasingly unlikely judging by comments from the Dortmund coach Lucien Favre and sporting director Michael Zorc. Sancho was benched for the weekend’s game against Leipzig amid ongoing speculation over his future.
The signing of Sancho would be big news in English football, among football fans and sports betting punters alike. In fact, football betting apps are likely to hit a frenzy as those who think the Reds can leapfrog over their rivals and contend for the Premier League title next year scramble to make their bets. Yet for now, United appear to be playing it cool, making no obvious moves for the player.
This may partially reflect the new realities for European football. The pandemic has introduced an element of uncertainty into the financial planning for most top clubs, and United may feel that by biding their time, they may be able to pick up the player for a lower fee. Old Trafford Chief Executive Ed Woodward has gone on record warning that football has to be more realistic about transfer fees.
But ultimately, the lure of bringing one of Europe’s top young players to Old Trafford may prove more significant for a club that is known to have money to spend this summer.
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