Manchester United appear to have finally accepted defeat in their bid to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and will turn instead to one of three other candidates.
The exciting 20-year-old has been United’s top transfer priority all summer but his current club Borussia Dortmund have been unwilling to negotiate below their €120 million (£111m) valuation.
And now, The Daily Star claims that ‘Manchester United are considering pulling the plug on their bid to land England superstar Jadon Sancho.
‘United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward believes Dortmund are determined to hold his club to ransom and that the German outfit have been inconsistent in their attitude towards selling Sancho.
‘But United’s success in signing Holland international Donny van de Beek from Ajax in a £40m deal has reiterated his belief that Sancho is not worth what Dortmund claim he is.’
It comes as nothing of a surprise that United have reached this conclusion as reports in Germany have consistently said that Sancho is no longer for sale even if United found that €120 million, which United controlling shareholder Joel Glazer is reportedly unwilling to do.
With eight days to go until United start their Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace, there is little time to line up alternatives, but The Star believes that there is in fact a shortlist of three names.
‘Woodward knows the clock is ticking before the transfer window closes on October 5 and could now turn to Juventus’ Douglas Costa, Atletico Madrid ace Joao Felix or even pursue a deal to sign Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale,’ the outlet claims.
Costa’s name has come up repeatedly as a Sancho alternative this summer but the 29-year-old’s injury record is a cause for concern. He missed 132 days of the 2019/20 season and 201 days of the 2018/19 season due to various problems including calf and hamstring issues.
Felix is a strange claim from The Star as he is normally a number 10 rather than a winger and has only been at Atleti for a year after his €126 million (£117m) move from Benfica.
Bale is an even more unlikely shout. Older and even more injury-prone than Costa, there is also his huge salary to consider, although reports this week have claimed that current club Real Madrid would be willing to pay half of his salary to any buying club willing to take him off their hands.
This bizarre three-man shortlist suggests that somebody has lost the plot in this transfer situation and it is to be hoped that it is The Daily Star rather than the Manchester United board.
Manchester United’s new star Donny van de Beek will be the 13th Dutch national to play for the senior side. But how much do you know about the other 12? Take our quiz below to find out.