Manchester United will reportedly press on in their attempts to sign at least three players this summer, continuing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rebuilding effort at the Old Trafford club. Of course, there is some uncertainty surrounding the summer transfer marker – when it will start and end still being up in the air at the moment.
United apparently drew up a shortlist of players to target back in January and reportedly started negotiations to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa back in February before the coronavirus pandemic had started. Since then, world football has been suspended and we do not yet know what will happen with the remainder of the season, let alone next season.
It has also been reported that Birmingham City teenager, Jude Bellingham and his parents visited the club Aon Training Complex in Carrington, meeting Sir Alex Ferguson with the club also confident of outbidding any other club interested in signing Borussia Dortmund winger, Jadon Sancho, who has been linked to the Old Trafford club for a while now.
It has been stated by the Manchester Evening News, based on their understanding, that United still feel that all three targets are attainable during 2020, with only one transfer window – the summer transfer window, for the club to secure the signing of all three players. The coronavirus pandemic has put hurdles in the way though.
Both Grealish and Sancho are reported to be happy with the prospect of signing for United and over the past few years, the club has seemingly signed three players during each transfer window, which will either remain or be broken this summer. Last summer, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James and Harry Maguire arrived at the Old Trafford club.
16-year-old Bellingham cannot sign a professional contract with Birmingham City until late June, when he turns 17. If he signs with the club, they could demand an even higher fee for the player. If he does not sign, he could leave for United, or anywhere else, with a compensation payment to be determined, rather than a transfer fee.
It has been reported in the media that United would shelve plans to sign Sancho this summer, trying again in 2021 but that seems to come from the fact that United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, played down the prospect of making big financial transfers this summer. Of course, it is yet unknown what the financial implications would be.
The coronavirus has suspended world football but the Bundesliga will return this weekend, the first of Europe’s big league to find normality and complete the season. This could soon be followed by the return to the Premier League, which would be good for the game – as long as there is relevant safety management with the return of the game.
However, back one March, it was suggested by Hans-Joachim Watzke, the CEO of Borussia Dortmund that Sancho could be sold this summer. However, a fee of more than £100 million would be payable with United not seeking to break their transfer record as yet. This summer could be turbulent for United and football.
Grealish, 24, is expected to be allowed to leave Villa this summer, at least after the conclusion. of the 2019/20 season, which could see the team fall back into the Championship after a season back in the Premier League, which would be a failure for the club after their spending during the past summer transfer window.
Grealish has a contract at Villa until the summer of 2023, which means United may have to pay a hefty fee to sign the player, if they remain in the Premier League. If they are relegated, this gives the player more power in his future with a suggestion that United could set the fee they would pay for the player. Solskjaer, speaking about rebuilding, said:
“We’re always looking to improve the squad and this uncertainty in the market now, who knows how football is going to be and how the market is going to be? But I’m very happy with the squad I’ve got.
“I think today’s world is different to what it was two months ago. We’ve got to adjust to that and there are clubs out there struggling more than us financially. But it’s still a new world and the transfer market this summer will be completely different to what anyone thought it was going to be.”
It was expected that United could exploit the transfer market this summer, being that they are a club with great riches. However, with the financial climate changing on a day to day basis, that could all change before the current season is over and the transfer window opens. Woodward vowed that the club would remain ‘highly-competitive’, but it may not be ‘business as normal’.