Manchester United have been linked with Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho for well over a year now and that does not seem to be something that will end, even despite the Old Trafford club not adhering to the German clubs imposed deadline of the 10 August to sign the 20-year-old. It is still suggested that United want to sign the player this summer, but reports in the media are not making things easy at all. The club seem to be adamant that Sancho will remain at the club for the 2020/21 season.
Of course, that might be a ploy to get what the club wants, which is a minimum of £108 million for the player to leave the Bundesliga club this summer. However, that said, United need to think of other options that will still work, moving forward, otherwise they could be left with panic buy options which will not be best for the club and could see United in another Alexis Sanchez predicament at the club, which would mean that the club has not evolved or in fact learned anything from the past seven years.
Here are five other options that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could pursue to actually sign a winger this summer…
Kingsley Coman, 24, Bayern Munich
This Frenchman is probably the best of the five options in terms of bringing in the quality that United need this summer but also a difficult player to sign this summer, especially after Bayern Munich completed their treble, their second in seven years, by beating Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League final on Sunday evening, lifting their sixth title. Bayern also won the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal this season. Coman has been linked to United this summer but it might not be viable now.
This season, Coman made a total of 38 appearances for Bayern, scoring eight goals and seven assists. The 24-year-old Frenchman can play on either the left-wing or the right wing, playing 20 times on the right for this club. If Sancho was the first choice for United to bring in this summer, Coman should be number two on the list. However, there would be a difficulty in signing the player. Bayern have signed Leroy Sane already this summer and could also sign Ivan Perisic, who is on loan from Inter Milan with an option to buy. Should this happen, Coman might not see himself playing regular football for his club.
Ousmane Dembele, 23, Barcelona
This Frenchman is a player who has been linked to United already but a player that Barcelona are not willing to sell this summer. The Catalan club paid €105 million for the player from Borussia Dortmund three years ago and after suffering a number if injuries, it was reported that the club would look to get rid of the player. This season, four injury spells have seen the player miss around 40 matches, which is not a great sign. However, there is a chance that his injury hell could be behind him now.
Dembele has made a total of nine apperances for Barcelona this season, scoring one goal and no assists. The player can play on the left-wing and the right-wing, playing five times on the right this season. Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed that Dembele will not be sold this summer, but if a club was interested enough to place a bid for him, would that change? Barcelona’s 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League has led to a number of changes but some players seem to be untouchable this summer.
Jack Grealish, 24, Aston Villa
The Aston Villa captain is probably the more attainable player in this list so far despite the Birmingham club asking for around £80 million for the player this summer. United will not feel that he is worth that fee though and will need to put in the effort to get a deal done. It is suggested that Grealish would sign for United at the drop of a hat but that is yet to be seen. Before the player says anything, he would need to see a concrete plan for United to bring him to the Old Trafford club.
This season, Grealish made a total of 41 appearances for his club, scoring 10 goals and eight assists in a season which saw Villa avoid relegation on the final day of the season and reach the Carabao Cup final, in which they were beaten by Manchester City. Grealish is a player who will be considered a big fish in a small pond at Villa and would become a small fish in a big pond at United with some suggesting that he would be better placed staying put. That said, the player would learn more being able to play European football, which he will get at United more than at Villa.
Douglas Costa, 29, Juventus
I personally feel that the Brazilian would be a mistake at United. It was suggested that United were interested in signing him last summer with a bid of £54 million suggested, despite nothing seemingly happening and now United could be interested again, although this is newspaper talk rather than anyone of not suggesting that United are in fact interested. The player will be 30 soon and in the twilight of his career. He would want a relatively high wage ad with United suffering after signing Alexis Sanchez, the warning signs are there.
During the 2019/20 season, despite Costa making a total of 29 appearances, he scored just three goals, assisting seven more, which is not the sign of a player that would regain his form at United and be the player that they are missing in the squad. I could be wrong but I can only give my personal opinion on this. United could do much better and because of that, should seek to find much better. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to sign young and hungry players to get the club back on the trail of success, Costa is not young but he might be hungry for success – that might not be enough.
David Brooks, 23, Bournemouth
The Bournemouth winger might be the wild card in the pack here but United have held interest in the player for a while now. Formerly of Manchester City’s academy, Brooks left the club for Sheffield United, which is where he was seen by Bournemouth and signed in the summer of 2018 for £11.5 million. His career has not been the greatest though. In the 2018/19 season, he started off well making 33 appearances for his club, scoring seven goals and five assists. However, an ankle injury that season kept him out for five matches.
Brooks required surgery on his ankle at the end of the season, this kept him out of action for almost a full year. If it was not for the coronavirus pandemic, Brooks would not have played any football during the 2019/20 season. That said though, returning to fitness after the lockdown, Brooks made nine appearances scoring one goal and no assists, playing on the right-wing. The media has suggested that Brooks could be an option if United do not sign Sancho. However, I feel the 23-year-old could become a squad player at United, which might lead to more.
Written by John Walker