News of Harry Kane’s demand to leave Spurs is attracting all the football papers’ attention this morning and of course it would be irresponsible of Manchester United not to pursue the transfer of one of the best strikers in the game.
However, the irony of that story is that it is forcing last summer’s biggest story – the potential transfer of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund – onto the sidelines, despite the fact that United are in a far stronger position to make that deal than they were 12 months ago.
Not only have Dortmund acknowledged that they are prepared to let the England man leave this summer, there are also widespread reports that they are now willing to listen to the kind of offer United were willing to make last term – something in the region of £80 million.
And the ever-efficient Germans, it would seem, have already lined up Sancho’s replacement – Lille’s Jonathan Ikoné.
The 23-year-old is a like-for-like replacement for Sancho and has been a big contributor to the success that has brought Lille to within one game of the French title.
‘At BVB, the profile of Jonathan Ikoné (23) pleases Marco Rose, who will take up his coaching duties on July 1.
‘[Rose] regularly watches LOSC matches and has already expressed his wish to enlist Mike Maignan (25) as a goalkeeper to replace Marwin Hitz at Dortmund.
‘The decision-makers of the recent winners of the German Cup are said to be willing to spend €25m to secure his services by offering him a four-season deal.
‘In order to convince him, they planned to invite him to visit the facilities and the magnificent Signal Iduna Park, as they did to seduce Erling Haaland a year and a half ago.’
The stars certainly seem much better aligned this year for the long-awaited Sancho-to-United deal to finally be concluded. Ikoné’s profile, age and price point are perfect as a replacement for the England man, so it would seem that it is simply now up to United to stump up the cash for Sancho and get the deal done.