As the transfer window grows closer, the Jadon Sancho to Manchester United rumour mill is gathering pace again, but reports are confusing.
Some reports, such as that in today’s Express, claim that now Edinson Cavani has signed a new contract, Sancho will be top priority again. Other reports, such as one in The MEN, state the opposite – that due to Mason Greenwood’s progress, a right winger is no longer a priority.
So which is true?
First, it must be said that much of the recent hype around a Sancho sale seems to have come from Dortmund’s end. Covid-19 has plunged them into debt, and whilst it is not at any sort of catastrophic level, it is a position they do not want to be in and their CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has admitted that they might prefer to sell one of their crown jewels rather than struggle with a negative bank balance.
Dortmund have also made it clear that they do not want to sell Erling Haaland this summer. Some reports suggest that they might make an exception if a massive £150 million plus offer came along, but the word on the street is that there is not a club in the world that would go that high at the moment. So, if Haaland stays, and they want to raise money, they need to sell Sancho.
Whether Dortmund qualify for the Champions League or not will also have a bearing on their desperation level in terms of selling Sancho. It was looking pretty grim in that regard a couple of weeks ago, but previously fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt are imploding at the moment and BVB have snuck back into the qualifying places. But it is tight.
The truth from United’s end is probably that they are not as desperate as they were last season to sign the England man because Cavani has resolved the striker crisis and Greenwood has excelled on the right wing. However, they could still want Sancho. The 21-year-old is a long-term investment; Cavani will most likely stay just one more season, at which point Greenwood could be ready to take over the mantle as the spearhead of the strike force.
2021-22 could therefore be an ideal time for Sancho to arrive, with Greenwood splitting his time rotating both with him and with Cavani.
However, United also have another ace up their sleeve in Amad. Also a right winger, and just 18 years old, the Ivorian has incredible potential and is arguably one of the most talented teenagers in the world. Perhaps some sightings of him in the last few games of this season will tell us more about whether he is ready yet for the first team. If he can deliver straight away, Sancho becomes even less urgent for United. If he doesn’t, he may even be loaned out next season and Sancho becomes more of a priority again.
A final consideration is Chelsea’s reported interest in the Manchester City academy graduate. United will not want him to fall into the hands of a Premier League rival if they can help it.
If outgoing executive vice chairman Ed Woodward is still around this summer and involved in transfers, he and negotiator Matt Judge would no doubt love to get Sancho at a cut-down price, just to get the last laugh on the Bundesliga club after last summer’s humiliation. There were even rumours recently that they are smelling blood and think they can get Sancho for half of last summer’s asking price, which would be between £50 and £60 million. Dortmund would be swallowing their pride at around £80 million, but may be forced to go even lower.
For now, United will be watching with interest to see whether the German side gets that Champions League spot and the guaranteed income that goes with it. That, plus how genuine Chelsea’s interest is and how well Amad can perform over the next couple of weeks, will probably all determine whether serious negotiations will take place between the two clubs this summer or not.