Manchester United are confident they will be able to lure England star Jadon Sancho to Old Trafford in summer 2020 – and are ready to pay whatever it takes to make the move happen.
Sancho, 19, joined Borussia Dortmund from United’s local rivals Manchester City in 2017 and has since established himself as one of the most exciting prospects in European football. Sancho has taken the Bundesliga by storm since his breakthrough, contributing 15 goals and 24 assists in 49 league appearances to date.
The London-born winger also scored his first two goals for England during their recent 5-3 win over Kosovo, and is already a regular fixture in the senior squad. United, aware of his rise and his talents, have been tracking the player for months.
They have identified Sancho as the perfect player to fill a role on the right hand side of their attack – it’s been a problem position for years – and met with Sancho’s agent earlier this year to explore the possibility of a future transfer. Sporting director Michael Zorc recently confirmed as such in the club’s Amazon documentary Inside Borussia Dortmund.
The move was put off, with neither Sancho nor the club interested in making a transfer happen at the time. United are however confident that they will win the race for the player in the long-term and are already working on a potential deal. Sancho fits the profile of player they have targeted in their new signing strategy – young and British – and 90min understands he is privately open to the prospect of moving to Old Trafford.
No surprise to see Jadon Sancho turning on the style for England…
He gave Bundesliga defenders nightmares last season and has picked up where he left off this campaign… Baller pic.twitter.com/BEdbiZLHom
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 10, 2019
That’s not to say the transfer will certainly happen, though, and much can change over the course of a few months. United already face the roadblock of potentially spending another season out of the Champions League – they’ve taken five points from their opening four Premier League games this term – and failure to reach the top four in May could prove problematic in their pursuit of a now established UCL player.
United do have a second opportunity of reaching Europe’s premier club competition by winning the Europa League, though concerns over the quality and numbers in their first team squad could affect them over the course of the campaign. They are already struggling with a number of injuries to key players ahead of the weekend’s clash with Leicester.
Interest from rival clubs could also prove a problem. Though not yet a primary target, Real Madrid and Barcelona are two clubs consistently looking to recruit the world’s best talent, and another stellar season from Sancho in Germany could potentially switch their focus. The likes of Paul Pogba, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are targets for the two clubs next summer, as it stands, though there is plenty of time for change.
Manchester City – the club Sancho left in search of first team football – do possess a right to match any offer accepted by Dortmund for Sancho should one arrive, and could enter the mix for the player amid uncertainty over the future of Leroy Sane.
The German international was courted by Bayern Munich last summer prior to damaging his ACL in August. The player was open to the move at the time, given a more prominent role in he starting XI was on offer from the German champions – who are going through a period of transition with regard to their playing squad at the moment. City are hopeful of convincing Sane to sign a new deal in the coming months to end the speculation.
Premier League rivals Liverpool have been talked up as a potential suitor for the player in some quarters. However, the money it would take for Dortmund to agree to a sale and Liverpool’s transfer strategy over recent years suggests a move to Anfield is unlikely.
Dortmund’s demands will certainly be big. 90min has learned that they value Sancho higher than current Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele, who left the club for €105m plus bonuses in 2017. Given the time between transfers and inflation in the market between the two deals, Dortmund are set to look for any buyer to meet an asking price of £150m.
United, as mentioned, rate Sancho so highly that they will look to do whatever it takes to make the transfer a reality. The deal has many moving parts, but he is among their primary targets.
Also among them is James Maddison – though as it stands United are one of a number of top European clubs monitoring the future England international, who incidentally will turn out at Old Trafford for Leicester on Saturday. Reinforcements for the holding role in central midfield are also being monitored.
Of the current squad, the Red Devils are confident of tying up a new deal for central defender Victor Lindelof that could total £150,000-a-week, though manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could only confirm on Friday that he was “hopeful” David de Gea would extend his contract beyond next summer.