It’s a deal that’s looked in the bag for so long, but are there now signs that Manchester United are starting to doubt they’re going to complete the signing of Jadon Sancho?
The Red Devils are always linked with a number of big names ahead of each transfer window, but we know that this year’s transfer market won’t be quite like any others in living memory.
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The coronavirus pandemic has caused havoc all over the world, and football fans will be well aware of the disruption it’s caused in the beautiful game too, with a number of league seasons across the globe suspended, and with those that have returned having to do so in empty stadiums.
While it looks increasingly like football is going to come back to England, Spain and Italy after the apparent success of Germany in starting up again, the transfer market is sure to be the next part of the game that feels the force of this virus.
The economic impact of the pandemic cannot be understated, and while it might mean many smaller clubs are under pressure to sell their best players for reduced fees, teams like Man Utd are not going to be immune to the financial difficulties either, as a recent report from the Manchester Evening News shows.
Is Jadon Sancho transfer an unrealistic dream in this market?
It seems obvious to anyone who’s been following that Sancho is going to cost big money to sign from Dortmund. ESPN suggest it could be as much as £107million, and while 90min claim both United and Dortmund believe the 20-year-old is going to end up at Old Trafford, it’s also made clear in their report that Dortmund have no intention of lowering their demands despite the current economic climate.
Suddenly, stories of alternatives to Sancho are popping up everywhere, with another report from the Manchester Evening News linking MUFC with as many as three cheaper Plan B options in the form of Rabbi Matondo, David Brooks and Thiago Almada. The Independent have even linked United with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, though one imagines he wouldn’t be a great deal cheaper than Sancho.
Still, that’s four players who can play in Sancho’s position and it’s telling that the club suddenly seem so keen to keep their options open despite this long-running saga involving the England international.
A new transfer strategy for United?
United’s recent financial woes may have spooked them, but at the same time the club can look at some of their recent improved business and have confidence they can make a new approach work.
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Red Devils are no longer over-spending on players who are either over the hill (Alexis Sanchez) or who simply don’t fit the style of the side at all (Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku).
Instead, Solskjaer has identified promising young players like Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, whilst also homing in on specific targets like Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes for a long time before eventually getting them.
Like Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, who waited to sign top target Virgil van Dijk instead of looking to an alternative, it seems United now have a much clearer idea about what kind of money they’re willing to spend, and what calibre of player and personality they want to invest in.
“The motives behind Project Restart are possibly 100% financially driven rather than integrity driven.” – Which Premier League star said this? Click here to read more.
That’s not to say Sancho wouldn’t be a good fit at United, and indeed he may well still make his way to Manchester, but the success of Solskjaer’s transfer strategy perhaps shows the club is now not scared to consider some less glamorous names as alternatives if they expect the Sancho deal is no longer financially viable.
Sometimes a crisis forces the best out of us, and Man Utd could really benefit from embracing change this summer.