Just when it seemed that Manchester United had a clear run at securing Jadon Sancho’s signature, it has emerged that they have the two biggest rivals in the world.
It had appeared inevitable that the 20-year-old would head back to the Premier League this summer from Borussia Dortmund, where he has scored 17 goals and provided 19 assists in 35 games this season.
There was reportedly a three-way battle to land Sancho between United, Chelsea and Liverpool. However, it was claimed that both rivals had pulled out of the race, with the Red Devils left the last man standing. In fact, it was almost looking like getting their man would be a slam dunk.
With other reports even claiming personal terms had been agreed, the only issue appeared to be the transfer fee, with Dortmund holding out for their €130 million (£119 million) and insisting that they would not lower their asking price under any circumstances.
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But now The Times has poured cold water over all that. Reporter Tom Roddy has revealed that there are two more horses in the race to sign Sancho – Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Roddy claims that although ‘exit from Dortmund is inevitable’, ‘those advising him say the preferred destination is La Liga’.
The fact is that the ambitious youngster has his sights set on winning the Ballon d’Or and his advisers are saying that ‘he would stand a greater chance [of doing so] by playing for either Real Madrid or Barcelona.’
The report also claims that ‘the same recommendation was recently given to Sancho’s father by lifelong family friends.’
Whilst Barcelona are still hopeful of re-signing Neymar and Real Madrid’s priority is Kylian Mbappe, Sancho would represent a good and far cheaper fallback option for both. Roddy claims that Barcelona’s offloading of Philippe Coutinho and Real’s offloading of Gareth Bale could both be used to fund the transfer.
On the positive side for Red Devils’ fans, the reporter does claim that ‘childhood friends believe Sancho will return to the Premier League’ and also notes the player’s good friendship with United stars Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard.
United fans will be hoping that those childhood friends will prove to be correct and that Sancho will return to the better half of the city where his football career began.
United are hoping to make Jadon Sancho the next player to wear the famous number 7 shirt. But how much do you know about the players who have worn it before? Take our quiz below to find out.