’On the first day of Christmas Ed Woodward sent to me … one Jadon Sancho’?
It’s not a song that any of us expect to be singing when fans are finally allowed back inside Old Trafford, but there is at least some positive news coming out of Old Trafford on the transfer front in terms of January signings.
Both manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and executive vice chairman Woodward have recently thrown cold water over the possibility of January transfers, but according to ESPN, the funds are there to do business in the winter window if the right target is available.
‘Sources told ESPN that [Woodward] will back manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with funds in the January transfer market if an opportunity to sign a long-term target presents itself,’ reporter Rob Dawson claims.
‘Manchester United are willing to spend in the window … with Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano among the names on United’s wish list.
‘Solskjaer is not expecting to spend heavily in January, but Woodward, chief negotiator Matt Judge and the recruitment department will check on key long-term targets after the impressive impact made by midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who arrived last January.’
We can scoff with derision at the mere suggestion that Borussia Dortmund would suddenly lower their summer asking price for Sancho halfway through the season and allow him to leave. Upamecano, on the other hand, could be a slightly more realistic possibility.
Upamecano is one of the world’s best young centre-backs but RB Leipzig are set to lose him in June when a €42 million (£38m) release clause becomes active.
There is likely to be a lot of competition in June for his signature at that price, so a strategic offer in excess of that amount – say around £45 million – might enable a club such as United to bag his signature early before the competition kicks in, especially if United get a point at the Red Bull Arena on Wednesday to send Leipzig out of the Champions League and deprive them of any further revenues from the competition.
Another young centre back with whom the Red Devils have been linked is Villareal’s Pau Torres. The MEN believes that a January move is possible, with Eric Bailly potentially going in the opposite direction to rejoin the club he left in 2016 to join United.
Whist it remains far more likely that the January window will be restricted to outgoing transfers – with Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo the most likely to leave – the news from ESPN does at least offer some hope that United’s squad will be strengthened for the second half of the season.
Edinson Cavani has made quite an impact since his deadline day arrival at Old Trafford, but how much do you know about our other South American players, past and present? Take our quiz below to find out!