Erling Haaland is the striker Manchester United must sign to compliment their squad

Manchester United completed the summer 2021 transfer window in style, signing Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo, which is widely considered a job well done. However, the job is not yet complete as United will require a striker and at least a defensive midfielder in 2022.

In the summer, it was stated that if United ended up with a defensive-minded midfielder, they would have had a very positive transfer window which would have strengthened the team in all areas. However, United are finding many problems in the midfield with Nemanja Matic considered as the only experienced defensive midfielder and his age not allowing him to play back to back matches regularly.

That said, the striker position will need strengthened in the summer with Edinson Cavani likely to leave the club, if he does not leave in January, with Anthony Martial also tipped for an exit, especially with the rumours that Newcastle United would be interested in signing the forward – even though there needs to be a solid interested, not just a rumour being born out of the £300 million takeover at the end of the week.

One striker that would fit in at United is Erling Haaland. United reportedly missed out on signing the player during the January 2020 transfer window with the player leaving RB Salzburg at the time. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had previously managed the player at Molde and United would have signed a considerable bargain at the time but Ed Woodward’s attempts to cut Mino Raiola out of the deal failed and Haaland signed for Borussia Dortmund – where he has continued his success.

Haaland has developed well at each club he has played for, starting at Byrne, where he made 16 appearances, not scoring a single goal or assist. At Molde, he made a total of 50 appearances, scoring 20 goals and six assists. At RB Salzburg, he made 27 appearances, scoring 29 goals and seven assists, which is where bigger clubs started to notice the Norwegian. At Dortmund, he has made a total of 67 appearances, scoring 68 goals and 19 assists, showing his improvement in the game.

Haaland has made a total of 161 appearances during his career, scoring 117 goals and 32 assists, which gives him, on average, a goal every 0.73 matches, assisting every 0.20 matches and offering a goal contribution every 0.93 matches, which is sooner or later going to get him in one of the biggest clubs in European football where he will be seeking to compliment the squad and win some of the biggest honours in the game. With the right tactics he could achieve that at United with the squad that has been built so far.

In September, it was reported that United Football Director, John Murtough and Solskjaer held a meeting about the clubs future transfers and they both agreed that Haaland was the better bet for the future, which is something that I would agree with. However, that does not mean that it will be easy for United to sign the striker as there will be many different clubs in for him in the summer of 2022 with his €75 million release clause at the Bundesliga club comes into effect.

Haaland’s physicality is suited to the Premier League an I am sure that he will bag loads of goals leading the line for a club in the league. United will be seeking to be the frontrunners for his signature by Raiola will stand in the way of any potential deal and with that man, nothing can be guaranteed as he likes to make money and move his players on from club to club.

This is the only real negative here. I am sure that Haaland would be interested in a Premier League move, which is arguably one of, if not the best league in Europe based on the competitive nature of the league at the fact that it does not seem to be a one horse race which is what we have seen in the past decade, and longer in some of Europe’s top leagues.

Written by John Walker

Erling Haaland ‘difficult to keep’ for Dortmund this summer with United, Barca and Madrid interested

Borussia Dortmund chief executive officer, Hans-Joachim Watzke has made the admission that the Bundesliga club will face a ‘big challenge’ to retain the services of Erling Haaland next summer.

The 21-year-old Norwegian has scored 68 goals and 19 assists in 67 appearances for the German club, which shows the ability of the striker. He arrived from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2020 for a fee in the region of £19.5 million, which is a bargain.

The striker has quickly become one of the ‘hottest properties’ in football since moving to the German side and there are many big clubs seeking to sign him in the summer of 2022, when his release clause becomes active. It is reported that Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona are all interested in the player.

For United though, there is one problem – Mino Raiola. Paul Pogba’s agent just seems to want to make money every few years by moving the player on and that would be no different at United, as has been shown by the constant talking about Pogba’s situation at the club, although United have stood firm in keeping him, so far.

Chelsea were interested in the player but the signing of Romelu Lukaku in the summer seems to have ended speculation of the Norwegian heading to Stamford Bridge. The release clause for Haaland is said to be between £75 million and £100 million, which considering the cost of some players in today’s market, holds a good deal.

The release clause has not officially been confirmed, as in the amount of the clause, but there has been much speculation suggesting that it does exist. Recently, Watzke spoke to Welt am Sonntag, talking about keeping Haaland, saying:

“Of course it will be difficult. I am not saying, however, that it is completely out of the question.

“We’ll do everything we can to keep our top players loyal to us in the future.”

Dortmund manager, Marco Rose seems to be more optimistic, perhaps because his job is to manager the players in their footballing ability, not getting contracts sorted. He was quizzed about Haaland and teammate Jude Bellingham, who has also been linked to United on whether the club could keep both – he said:

“The two boys are currently players with us. We are happy to have them and anything else is just rumours. In the summer, we will see how it goes for both players.

“But I will do everything to ensure they stay. Tie them down (to new contracts)? No idea (what the future holds), let’s see.”

United were made to wait to sign Jadon Sancho from Dortmund, seemingly being priced out during the summer of 2020, perhaps because of the costings involved and the coronavirus pandemic, which had, at the time, stopped supporters from attending matches in the stadiums, costing the club income. They signed the player in the summer of 2021, for a much smaller fee – this will not happen with Haaland though, or Bellingham for that matter.

United will be seeking to sign a new striker at the club, replacing Edinson Cavani, who will leave the club in the summer, possibly heading back to Uruguay for the remainder of his career. Despite signing Cristiano Ronaldo, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need another player in the squad, despite the development of Mason Greenwood who is tipped to become a centra striker for the club in the near future.

United had been linked to many strikers over the years and Haaland has been one that continues to be linked to the club. However, the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, despite their current financial problems, may entertain the player more than playing at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer has history with the player, not that it means much in the modern-day game, but it could account for something. I am sure that if Haaland is a player that United would like to sign, they will end up making a move for him. If not, there will be someone else the manager and the club have their eyes on.

Haaland would score bags of goals in the Premier League and the current United squad would create a lot of chances for him. One things that maybe needs to be resolved is the club signing a defensive midfielder, which is a position that is required at this moment in time being that Nemanja Matic is the only experienced player in that position. Once that is sorted, United will be ready to achieve, perhaps better placed than Madrid and Barca?

Written by John Walker

Manchester United announce the signing of Jadon Sancho – an important addition to the squad

Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Jadon Sancho, who has arrived from Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of £73 million. The 21-year-old was linked to the Old Trafford club last summer but the move was never completed after the deadline to sign the player elapsed and the fee demanded at the time was massive, especially when you factor in the coronavirus pandemic which was raging on around the world at the time, added to the fact that supporters were still not inside football stadiums either, resulting in lower turnovers for clubs all over the world. United had been after the player for the past two years or more.

The England international has signed a five-year contract at the Theatre of Dreams which also includes the option of a further year to be added, which is the way contracts have been done since the 2013/14 season. The player was recently involved in Euro 2020 for England, not having a lot of playing time but playing a part in the final, albeit penalties after coming on in the dying seconds of extra time. Along with Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka, Sancho missed his penalty which saw Italy win the tournament with England appearing in their first final since 1966. But this seems to be the beginning, not the end for England.

Sancho has history in Manchester, signing for Manchester City from Watford in 2015, when the player was just 14 with a £66,000 fee paid at the time, which could have risen to £500,000. Sancho was part of City’s academy for two-years before leaving the club for Borussia Dortmund, where the Bundesliga club paid £8 million for the player. City, over the years have lost many talented academy players who have gone on to better things but a talent like Sancho will have been a big loss for them, especially after what he has achieved in Germany, where he has played 137 times for the first team, scoring 50 goals and 64 assists.

During his first season in Germany (2017/18), Sancho made 12 appearance for the first team, scoring one goal and four assists, also making a further nine appearances at youth level, scoring four goals and three assists. The following season (2018/19), Sancho was considered a first team player, making a total of 43 appearances in the Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League and DFB-Pokal, scoring 13 goals and 20 assists – it was the first of three seasons where the player would achieve 20 assists a season. During the 2019/20 season, Sancho made 44 appearances, scoring 20 goals and 20 assists, with a further 16 goals and 20 assists in 38 appearances during the 2020/21 season – his last season in Germany.

During his time in the Bundesliga, Sancho won two trophies for his club; the DFL-Supercup in the 2018/19 season and the DFB-Pokal in the 2020/21 season. He has yet to win a league title, which might be something that he will achieve in the not too distant future at United. He also has an honour with England after helping to win the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2017, a tournament that he was also named the Golden Player and also named in the team of the tournament. It shows that United have added a good player to their squad and the first experienced right-winger, which will add balance to both the squad and the attack.

It is expected that Sancho will head away on holiday after finishing with England after the Euro 2020 final on Sunday evening and could take up to three weeks off, to recuperate and recharge his batteries after a tough season and early summer months. United will be back in action against Derby County in their first pre-season match on Sunday, then facing Queens Park Rangers on the 24 July, Brentford at Old Trafford on the 28 July, Preston North End on the 31 July, ending with another home friendly against Everton on the 7 August, the latter two expected to feature the majority of the players to played in Euro 2020.

Sancho will be looking forward to making his debut for United this season with the club seeking to build on their second-placed finish in the Premier League last season with the club also seeking to build on their Emirates FA Cup quarter-final place, their Carabao Cup semi-final place and with them featuring in the UEFA Champions League for the second-season running, make it to the knockout stages at least and not fall into the UEFA Europa League like last season, which them being beaten by Villarreal on penalties in the final in Gdañsk in May 2021. This will be a big season for both Sancho and his new manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Speaking to the official Manchester United website about signing for the club, Sancho said:

“I’ll always be grateful to Dortmund for giving me the opportunity to play first team football, although I always knew that I would return to England one day.

“The chance to join Manchester United is a dream come true and I just cannot wait to perform in the Premier League.

“This is a young and exciting squad and I know, together, we can develop into something special to bring the success that the fans deserve.

“I am looking forward to working with the Manager and his coaching team to further develop my game.”

Sancho will almost certainly add to United’s attack this season, after some settling in time, where he could feature in the same team as Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes, and with the trios number last season, which included 66 goals and 37 assists, the chances of Sancho increasing those numbers considerably will be a welcome addition which could see United dominate in attack and frustrate their opposition, which is something the club has been doing on and off for the last two years or so, even if the negative supporters want to pretend it did not happen. Solskjaer, speaking to the official Manchester United website about his new signing, said:

“Jadon [Sancho] epitomises the type of player I want to bring to the club, he is a forward player in the best traditions of Manchester United.

“He will form an integral part of my squad for years to come and we look forward to seeing him blossom. His goals and assists records speak for themselves and he will also bring tremendous pace, flair and creativity to the team.

“Old Trafford will give him the platform he needs to release his untapped talent and perform at the highest level. For a player of his age, Jadon has already achieved a great deal and showed the courage to go and prove himself abroad.

“We all look forward to welcoming Jadon to the squad as we prepare for the new campaign.”

Written by John Walker

Manchester United seem likely to go in for Jadon Sancho again this summer, but the question is, should they?

At the start of August last year, it was widely reported that Jadon Sancho was, depending where you read, either close to agreeing personal terms, according to Sky Sports, or indeed had according to The Guardian, agreed personal terms with Manchester United. It seemed that he was on the brink of joining the red side of Manchester, just three years after leaving the blue side. 

However, as we all know, it fell through. Or was it ever on? Who knows with Ed Woodward? Haggling over the transfer fee ended with United pulling the plug. Of course, transfer rumours never cease. Reports suggest that United will go in for him again at the end of the season, but this time they won’t be unopposed. It will be far harder to sign him in the summer of 2021, but should United even bother?

At the end of last season, that question seemed senseless. His form over the last two years have seen him break into the England squad. The season he joined, he made 12 appearances, slowly adjusting himself to the Bundesliga and first team football. He scored his first goal and set up another two in a 4-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen. Sancho had announced himself. The season after he would have his breakout season. 13 goals and 19 assists in all competitions turned Sancho into one of the first players on the team sheet. He had Manchester City licking their wounds at not being able to tie him down and if they were licking their wounds after that season, they would be spitting feathers in the next. 2018/19 may have been his breakout year, but 2019/2020 would see Sancho transcend into a star.  

In 44 appearances he would score 20 and assist the same number. United’s interest would build throughout the year and after a slow start to the transfer window, the signing of Sancho was meant to begin United’s summer spree. The saga would drag on through the whole of the transfer window. With the window being far longer than a normal one due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it seemed to go on forever. Most people believed it would go through eventually, until it didn’t. Deciding against the signing, United would begin looking at other targets. Ousmane Dembele and Kingsley Coman were considered, but in the end the only wingers signed were future prospects Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo. United seemed to be putting their trust into the players they already had at their disposal and especially Mason Greenwood. 

Greenwood himself, had delivered a breakout season in 2019/20. Scoring 19 goals, he created a highly fluid front trio with Anthony Martial and Anthony Rashford as United stormed to third place in the second half of the season. To the very few detractors towards United signing Sancho, Mason Greenwood was often cited as their reason. If United signed Sancho, Greenwood would have fewer opportunities. It would stunt his growth. His performances were also seen as good enough to warrant a first team place. All of this was probably true, however despite Sancho not joining, Greenwood has struggled to nail down a first team place.

Edinson Cavani’s signing and subsequent good performances has seen him play more often than not when he’s been fit. Greenwood also didn’t help himself with his extra-curricular activities during his time with the England squad. Dan James, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard have all featured sparingly this season, so the right-wing position has not been nailed down. If United are to play a front three with everyone fit, then it will likely be Rashford on the right, Martial on the left and Cavani upfront. Cavani is only likely to stay one more year at the most and if they’re not convinced that Rashford and Greenwood are the man for the right wing and Pellistri and Diallo are not ready for next season, then Sancho might be wanted again. 

The worry for some, however, is that this season he has struggled. In the league he has managed just one goal in 12 games. His performances haven’t matched the consistency of last season, although Dortmund will be hoping that he has returned to form with a sensation goal and an assist in their recent 2-0 against Wolfsburg. It has been claimed that Sancho’s lack of form has been down to the failed move to United. Despite all the talk about Sancho being happy to be at Dortmund, even if the move fell through, his performances have indicated otherwise. The fans who want him at Old Trafford next season will hope that is the sign the move is still on. However, it does pose the question over Sancho’s mentality. If the poor form is down to the move falling through, is he simply going through the motions until the move can be completed again? You’d like to think not, but Sancho has previous. 

Before his move to Dortmund he began skipping training at Manchester City, stating he had no intention of going back until they let him leave. At just 20-years old there already seems to be a growing list of disciplinary issues. Back in 2017, as he was breaking into the first team, he was demoted to the under 23’s after reporting late for training on several occasions. In March 2018, he was cut from the England under 19 side for again turning up late for a training session. In October of 2019, he would be fined £86,000 for, you’ve guessed it, turning up late for training. On that occasion, he was made to run alone in the rain. A fine of £86,000 and running would be enough for most to not repeat those mistakes, but just a month later he would turn up late for a team meeting, just hours before a huge Champions League match against Barcelona.

He would be dropped to the bench and has since claimed that his tardiness is down to a sleeping problem. Whether or not it is true, and despite his tender age, it could be a risk for United to sign a player with a history of issues when Ole Gunner Solskjaer has worked so hard to foster a far better club harmony. United are now taking a far more analytical approach to transfers, relying on data, also ensuring that the players characters are right for the club. Whilst there may be question marks over Sancho, it seems unlikely that Solskjaer would go for a player if he had those worries. 

Most United fans and pundits alike believe that United’s problems aren’t in the attacking areas and that they need reinforcements in the defensive positions. A holding midfielder and centre-backs are the order of the day this summer, but if Solskjaer is convinced on Sancho’s character and the winger returns to his form of last season, then he would only improve United’s options. If they could sign him, a midfielder and a defender, then it might be the most successful transfer window seen in Ed Woodward’s era. 

Written by Huw Rawlings

Manchester United make £91.3 million bid for Jadon Sancho – rejected by Borussia Dortmund – reports

Manchester United have reported made a €100 million (£91.3 million) bid to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, which has been rejected by the Bunndesliga club according to Sky Sports. The 20-year-old is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s number one target this summer and United had a 10 August deadline to sign the player. There has been various messages coming from the German club since August suggesting that the player will remain at the club this summer, the latest being club captain Marco Reus. However, since then, the player has not flown to Munich for the DFL-Supercup against Bayern Munich due to respiratory issues.

It may be nothing but in August 2017, Sancho angered Manchester City by claiming to be ill in a bid to force through a transfer. Could this be a similar matter? This is wishful thinking but should be kept in the back of your mind. It seemingly worked before – could it work again? It is probably nothing though as the player seems happy to continue playing for the club for another season and the fact he has not yet spoken out about the speculation surrounding him, and not suggested himself the he wants to stay at the club, the speculation will continue until the transfer window closes on Monday 5 October 2020.

United were told that they would need to spend €120 million to secure the signing of Sancho this summer and that was before the 10 August deadline to sign the player. Today, that would mean that United would need to offer a minimum of £109.5 million for there to be any chance of acceptance of their offer, which may or may not be the case. United were given an opportunity at the start of there summer transfer window and seemed to hold on to the last week of the transfer window to do anything about it. This may have cost United the transfer. Some will suggest that United have offered this amount knowing that it would be rejected with the club saying they tried.

Sancho would be the ideal player for United to sign, giving him the vacant number seven shirt at the club, which has been worn by the likes of George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo – to talk about the successful players to have donned the shirt. However, in the past 11 years, Antonio Valencia, Memphis Depay, Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez have all worn the famous shirt to no real success. Last season, Sancho made a total of 44 appearances for his club, scoring 20 goals and 20 assists in all competitions, which would be great to add to the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood at United.

This season, Sancho has made a total of three appearances, scoring one goal and two assists. The player, presumably would have been looking forward to locking horns with Bayern Munich in a chance to win the first domestic trophy of the season but with him being ill, he will miss the match. Earlier in the summer, it was reported that United had come to an agreement with the player’s representatives regarding personal terms and the fees involved to conclude the deal, however, not agreeing on a deal with Dortmund to sign there player. It may be that United will return with a better offer before the transfer window closes on Monday or just accept defeat?

Solskjaer would have liked the summer transfer window to have gone to plan with the club bringing in the players that he wanted to add to the squad to cover the strength in depth and quality issues in the squad which were glaring towards the end of last season. Fabrizio Romano has stated that Dortmund will not accept anything less than €120 million for Sancho this summer so United will need to pay that to get their man this summer. It might be that United are waiting on the imminent departure of some player with Andreas Pereira (loan), Chris Smalling and Diogo Dalot linked with exits this summer. The coming days may tell us more.

Written by John Walker

Jadon Sancho last-gasp bid to be made with £90 million offer for England winger – reports

Manchester United are reported ready to make an offer for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho this summer. United were given a deadline of the 10 August to sign the winger and were told to pay £108 million for the player this summer. The deadline soon expired with United not making a move for the player, however, there was reported to suggest that United has agreed on personal terms with the player’s agent regarding a five-year contract and the agents fees involved in the transfer.

The Mirror has reported that United are set to bid £90 million for the England winger this summer with the report suggesting the Old Trafford club is confident of signing Sancho this summer, with just over a week remaining before the summer transfer window closes. This is a saga that has dragged on all summer with ITKs on Twitter saying it has been a done deal for months, which makes them look quite inept when nothing ever seems to transpire. However, if this happens, they will claim they still know it all when it was probably more of a guessing game than knowledge.

The £90 million offer, which is £28 million short of the fee demanded by Dortmund, will consist of £75 million up front for the winger and £15 million in add-ons to be paid at a later date. This is the best offer the German club are going to get for the player this summer and with Sancho reportedly interested in the move to United, despite him unwilling to rock the boat at his club and hand in a transfer request, United will need hope on their side if they are to land the player they have been chasing for a while now. Sancho has been Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s number on target.

The German club has said ever since the 10 August deadline that the player will remain in Germany for the 2020/21 season but they seem to have entertained the rumour to continue by talking about the player regularly which makes it look like they are trying to attract United to place a firm offer for the player. In the post-coronavirus financial market, all clubs around the world are taking a hit and that may not rectify itself quickly, so the transfer market will have suffered a collapse with teams demanding fees that won’t be paid as clubs don’t have the luxury of unlimited funds.

It would seem that Sancho could be a player that Borussia Dortmund would sell this summer but United would need to hit the German clubs target, which is £108 million or nothing at all. If Sancho tells the club that he does want to leave, which is something that I do not believe he would do, Dortmund might be forced to lower their demands or end up keeping a player that does not want to remain at the club. This saga has become so uninteresting that the only thing to bring it back from cardiac arrest would be a firm offer being placed by United and accepted by the German club.

That would spark a flurry of interest and end with United signing the player that Solskjaer has wanted all summer. That is the unlikely scenario at this time as the German club would look weak in accepting £75 million upfront for Sancho and £15 million in add-ons, which is not a look they would want this summer, but they could put it down to the coronavirus pandemic and the temporary fall in the financial markets. They could even see their share prices rise because of the deal, with might bring more riches to the club. Who knows what could or would happen. United need to get their business in order and find a way of doing business that is not inept and does not include inept businessmen passing themselves off as football guys.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United should have moved quickly to sign Jadon Sancho this summer

Former Manchester United captain and Class of 1992 graduate feels that his former club should have acted quicker in their pursuit of Jadon Sancho this summer. United were given a 10 August deadline to sign the England winger from the Bundesliga club but did nothing of note to get the deal done – which would have cost the club £108 million (€120 million) which is a big amount of money to spend with all the financial uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic which suspended world football for three months.

United still seem to be linked to the England winger and it is suggested that he is still Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s number one target of the summer despite the club so far signing only Donny van de Beek from Ajax in a £35.7 million deal. Dortmund wanted the deal to be wrapped up quickly so they could bring in a replacement and start their pre-season training with the new player in the squad. This does not seem to be the way that United want to conduct business. Neville spoke to the Daily Mail, saying:

“Like everyone else they had three months off because of coronavirus, so I don’t think it should be the case they didn’t have the resource or time to get things done.

“Chelsea got their business done, [Manchester] City have got three or four pieces done. I don’t think timing’s the issue. It’s just a thing with United that every time they go for a player in the last four, five, six years it feels they are a little bit desperate.

“They think they can hang on but they always pay it [the asking price] in the end. That’s sometimes where I think you can take control, give a hard deadline and say ‘we’re moving away from this deal’.”

United did not seem to react to the 10 August deadline to sign the player and seemingly thought that their own plans to sign him were better than respecting Dortmund and their wishes. United should have got the deal done last month before the deadline or moved on if they could not. All the club has done is allowed the media, the ITKs on Twitter and others to keep the hopes of this deal being completed alive. The mood surrounding the club will change if nothing happens and Solskjaer is not backed this summer. Neville continued by saying:

“The fact that it’s dragged on. Just say to Dortmund ‘leave him there’ and go get another player. There are plenty of players around, there can’t be just one player you’re chasing.

“It is frustrating but I do think United have been better in these last couple of seasons, more careful and not making mistakes either. If you can’t get a deal done [for Sancho] you have to move on. You certainly have to give hard deadlines on players.”

It is not much to ask of United to get deals done quickly. The transfer window has been open for six weeks now and there are three weeks and five days of the transfer window left after today (Tuesday 8 September 2020) so the club is running out of time. United will need to sign a striker, which might not happen until January, a right-winger, a central defender and a left-back in order to strengthen the squad so the club has a chance to take on the might of both Liverpool and Manchester City but other clubs, such as Chelsea have strengthened too, so it makes it much harder for United to challenge for the Premier League title.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United in preparation to finalise Jadon Sancho offer – reports

Manchester United are preparing to finalise agent salary and fees before submitting an official offer to Borussia Dortmund for Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Mail. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still retains the England winger as his number one target this summer to bolster the attacking line of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood. Over the past few weeks, talk of Sancho heading to Old Trafford this summer had quelled with his £108 million valuation still desired this summer.

Dortmund chief Michael Zorc last month suggested that United’s chances of signing the England winger has dissipated after the 10 August deadline to sign the player expired. The Daily Mail understands that United will make a move for the 20-year-old this summer but first of all they will sort out the salary and fees of intermediaries involved in the prospective deal before placing an official bid for the winger. Sancho’s agent is said to be Emeka Obasi of the Elite Project Group agency.

United have been the frontrunners to sign Sancho this summer with the Old Trafford club expected to be the only club that could spend this kind of transfer fee on a player this summer, despite suffering financially from the after effects of the coronavirus pandemic that stopped world football for around three months from mid-March. United have already signed Donny van de Beek from Ajax for £35.7 million this summer and are seeking to offload a number of players to make way for other arrivals this summer.

United have some work to do in order to create a team that can match the qualities of Liverpool and Manchester City to challenge for the Premier League title. The arrival of Van de Beek will go a long way to adding strength and depth in the midfield, also a capable player who can get into the box and create something for his teammates, which there is a lot of at the club right now, especially with the arrival of Bruno Fernandes during the January transfer window with 12 goals and eight assists in 22 appearances already in his short spell at the club.

Former United captain and Class of 92 graduate Gary Neville had urged the club to strengthen in five different areas this summer in order to help the club deal with the lives of Liverpool and City. Speaking to Sky Sports, Neville said:

“They have to sign a world-class centre back. For me, another midfield player.

“I also think a right winger, a centre forward and you have to look at left back because of Luke Shaw’s injuries and the fact he has obviously been in and out of the team in the last two or three years.

“So, I think there are definitely four or five players required and to not get three, I think it would be a problem because of what the other clubs are doing.”

Neville then talked about Chelsea strengthening this summer with Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva all arriving during the summer transfer window, also talking about Liverpool and City, which will mean that United could be under further pressure to sign more players this summer. Neville said:

“If Liverpool get Thiago, if Manchester City do what they are looking like they are going to do and with Chelsea doing what they’ve done, they are your competitors and they all look like they are improving and moving forward.

“I’m not sat here as a United fan thinking I desperately want him [Sancho]. It could be any number of players that become available that would improve United.

“If Harry Kane became available, and Tottenham fans will be saying why are you trying to get him out of Spurs again, but if he became available, he’d obviously improve United’s squad. So it doesn’t have to be a certain player.”

Written by John Walker

Manchester United to give up on Jadon Sancho until next summer – but will they?

Manchester United are reportedly ready to pull the plug on their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho this summer, aiming to launch a bid for the player in a year’s time instead, according to reports by The Sun. United would need to pay £108 million up front to sign Sancho this summer with the German club not willing to accept payments in instalments, which has been reported many times already this summer and given that the 10 August deadline elapsed a fortnight ago, the club has no reason to sell now.

The report has stated that United intend to call time on their chase of the England winger, possibly returning next summer, which could be difficult seeing as other clubs such as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona etc might actually make a move for the winger. It is suggested that the player’s representatives want to secure a contract worth £300,000 per week for Sancho which is something United do not want to just into based on the fact that the transfer of Alexis Sanchez was such a bad move for United.

This seems to be just another lame excuse dreamt up by the media as Sancho will ask for a large weekly wage moving to a bigger club, especially one of the richest clubs in the world. What would make United think that the player would ask for less money in a year’s time? When you want to attract the best players in the world but not pay them what they want, where do you expect the club to end up? Certainly not with players who are considered the best at what they do, being underpaid at United.

Every summer, there seems to be a lot of speculation, much of which could well be dreamt up by football writers in the bid to generate clicks to websites in order to make money, which is not really something that many will be a fan of. Surely, journalism should be better than that, searching through all the lies to find the truth, reporting on facts, not fallacy. But modern football has brought lots of money, which has left the media seeming to make money too, which is why there seems to be so many different stories, some of which contradict even the same sports writers.

The Mail has also claimed that United will let the Sancho deal lie this summer, attempting to sign the player next summer. Instead, it is suggested that the club is willing to spend £27 million on Juventus winger Douglas Costa, which was stated to be just £18 million a few days ago. Thinking about that one, why would a club that understands that Dortmund will be wanting more than £100 million for Sancho, whether it is this summer or next, waste money on a short-term option who would want big wages himself and might not be so easy to shift next summer?

Sancho recently admitted to SportBible, as reported by The Sun, that the transfer speculation can be hard to ignore and the player wants to get his head down and focus on his Dortmund career, which is what he would say, being a Dortmund player, right?

“It would be easy to get carried away. It can affect players. For me it’s about not looking at those things and just focusing on trying to do the best I can on the pitch… especially in training.

“For me it’s about improving every single day. “It’s important for me to keep a smile on my face and keep happy. I don’t really look at all the noise and all that stuff. I’d rather keep my head down, keep focus and improve every day.”

Written by John Walker

Jadon Sancho refuses to rule out transfer whilst club suggests he’s staying put – oh the drama!

Manchester United and the transfer window are two things to equate to drama. Each time the transfer window opens, there is major speculation and United tend to leave things late, which is not the sign of a club that has a clue what it is actually doing. This is an important summer for United but with nothing seemingly happening yet and supporters getting annoyed, it is going to be a long summer transfer window. United have been heavily linked to Jadon Sancho this summer, but the 10 August deadline that the Old Trafford club were set by Borussia Dortmund expired with nothing much happening.

Ever since that date and the fact that Sancho left Germany for Switzerland on the club pre-season training camp, the German club has reiterated that Sancho will be staying at the club for the entire 2020/21 season. Whether that happens remains to be seen though. Sancho has refused to rule out a transfer this summer, which leads something hanging in the balance, despite the player stating that he tends to not think too much about the speculation, which suggests that he had a good head on his shoulders.

United will need to spend £108 million (€120 million) on Sancho this summer, which in a post-coronavirus financial market could be a big ask, unless the Old Trafford club were able to agree on a lump sum up front then the rest paid in instalments, which might be beneficial for the Germany club in the future. Seldom do you see many transfers that put these sums of money up front with a player then joining a club, there always seems to be instalments. Sancho recently spoke to SoccerBible about the speculation surrounding him this summer, with him saying:

“It would be easy to get carried away with [the transfer speculation]. It can affect players. For me it’s about not looking at those things and just focusing on trying to do the best I can on the pitch… especially in training.

“For me it’s about improving every single day. It’s important for me to keep a smile on my face and keep happy. I don’t really look at all the noise and all that stuff. I’d rather keep my head down, keep focus and improve every day.”

The English winger seem to have a level head, which is a good sign for him during the future as if he remains at Borussia Dortmund for another season, the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, as well as United might be seeking to sign him next summer. Earlier on Saturday, Sancho played in the first of two warm up matches, scoring in the 5-1 victory over MSV Duisburg. Dortmund seem to be adamant that Sancho will stay at the club this summer, seemingly refusing to accept instalments from United, pushing for the entire fee upfront. Director Sebastian Kehl being quoted by Goal as saying:

“Jadon [Sancho] is happy to stay. He has a contract until 2023. I see him on the pitch and he is very happy. Everyone is very happy to have him. He is going to be here for at least one more season.”

United supporters may think that it would be the end of the world if United did not sign Sancho. However, everything happens for a reason. Whilst that reason this time would be the Glazers and Ed Woodward, United will still live on. United need to rebuild and the quality in the current squad needs to be raised. When the first XI are playing, things can work well but when you add fatigue, things do not go all that well, as was visible at the end of the season with United running out go puff. Former United striker, Andy Cole feels that Sancho’s prospective arrival could hamper Mason Greenwood’s progress at the club, which is an exciting future right there after the 18-year-old scored 17 goals and five assists in 49 appearances. Cole told the PA news agency, reported by The Sun:

“It’s scary and long may it continue. He can play as a nine and he can play out wide of a three, so it will be interesting to see where United think his best position is and what they see him as.

“If you have a player like Mason Greenwood then you can’t afford to block their progress. For me, the best number nine in the world is Robert Lewandowski. But there aren’t many, if any, Lewandowskis about.

“And if they do bring in Sancho then you’ve got to be careful as you don’t want to block [Greenwood’s] progress. United do need to bring in players as you must improve every season but it’s a fine balance.”

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW