It didn’t have to be like this.
After Jadon Sancho called out Erik ten Hag, saying he had been made a “scapegoat”, his future at Manchester United is at risk.
Ten Hag has previously shown that he doesn’t take unprofessional transgressions lightly. The latest decision Sancho has forced upon him with his statement in response to the manager’s comment about his training performance not being up to the mark might not be good news for the English forward.
Rumours have already surrounded regarding a Jadon Sancho transfer as United legends have also said their part about what lies in Sancho’s future.
The transfer window ending in most of Europe means if Sancho wants to avoid potentially sitting on the bench for the foreseeable future, his exit options are limited.
Here are the top three landing spots for Sancho if Ten Hag decides to cut ties with him-
The most logical option, and the most sensible one as well at this time.
Saudi Arabia have taken the transfer world by storm this summer by becoming a major player in the market. They’re not just buying old-timers looking for one last payday, they are taking away talents from Europe that elite clubs are eyeing, like Gabri Veiga.
Their transfer window closes on September 7 so United have only two days left to engineer a move for the player if Saudi is the way they want to go for Sancho.
Saudi have tried and failed to secure Kylian Mbappe this window but recently completed Neymar’s signing. Sancho, despite all his struggles, remains a marquee name in world football.
His signing would be a huge statement of intent and there arguably won’t be a better time to do it, since the competition from the rest of Europe is no longer present.
A team like Al-Nassr can reunite him with Cristiano Ronaldo. With Sadio Mane on the opposite wing, adding Sancho would arguably constitute the best attack in the league.
The clock is ticking with September 7 inching closer so United need to move quickly. At this point, no option makes as much sense as the Gulf country- financially, and even sporting-wise.
This is not nearly as likely as Saudi Arabia, as Tukey won’t be able to afford Sancho’s wages to the tune of nearly £350k/week. Neither will they be able to offer United anywhere close to the £73 million spent to bring Sancho to Old Trafford.
Therefore, any deal would require a lot of compromise from all sides to make it happen. However, such is the timing of this incident, that the player’s options are extremely limited, and Turkey is one of those options that make the most sense among the options that are actually available.
Galatasaray and Fenerbahce remain the usual suspects but as said earlier, this one is extremely unlikely, despite their transfer window ending on September 15.
It is an indicator of the squeezed situation Sancho finds himself in that in three landing spots, one is extremely unlikely, and one is his current club.
Staying at Manchester United is an option that might not be attractive to the manager or the player at this point, but it is one they might have to make peace with.
While Ten Hag doesn’t treat unprofessional behaviour lightly, Aaron Wan-Bissaka has also shown that there is a way back under him if you put your head down and work hard.
For that to happen, there needs to be a huge U-turn in Sancho’s attitude. That might come because of how limited his options are. He wouldn’t like to burn the bridge he has to hedge his bets on two bridges that don’t even exist as of now (Saudi and Turkey).
Therefore, while putting Manchester United as the third option might seem like a cop-out, it is more a damning indictment of the condition Sancho finds himself in. It is extremely likely that if Sancho doesn’t reconcile with Ten Hag, he will waste 4 months of his career sitting on the bench, waiting for the January transfer window to open.
What a mess.