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Five wingers Manchester United could sign instead of Jadon Sancho this summer

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

Douglas Costa available for £18 million – avoid at all costs

There are many lessons to be learned in football – some people end up learning, other end up repeating the same mistakes over and over again. When Alex Sanchez signed for United, on a high weekly wage, at the time it was seen as excitement by United’s supporters but six months later, that excitement was gone. The player did not fit in at the club, not under Jose Mourinho and not under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Many would hope that United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward would learn from it.

However, with United still chasing Jadon Sancho this summer and Borussia Dortmund still confirming that they plan on keeping the player for the 2020/21 season, it may seem that United might need to find another target. In the past few days, and with a management change at Juventus, Douglas Costa seems to be a player that will be on the move this summer, if the Old Lady can find a suitor for the Brazilian winger. However, this would just be another mistake for United and show nothing has been learned.

Tuttosport in Italy have reported that Costa could be sold this summer for as little as £18 million with new manager, Andrea Pirlo not having plans for the Brazilian winger at the club. United have previously been interested in the 29-year-old and Sir Alex Ferguson held an interested in the player when he was an emerging talent. However, that does not mean the player should be signed by the club this summer. Sanchez was a mistake – this would be too. United need to keep to their plans.

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived at the club after the sacking of Mourinho in December 2018, he talked about his plans for the future, if he got the job as the permanent manager, which was confirmed in March 2019. The manager has now completed his first full season in charge of the club, guided United to a third-placed finish in the Premier League and reached the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, the Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League, losing all of them, which is the only main criticism.

Juventus paid €40 million for Costa in 2018 after a season-long loan spell from Bayern Munich and it was suggested that United made a £54 million bid for the player last summer, which has been suggested by The Sun. A year later, United should be keeping to their young and hungry for success targeting as signing another player, who will be in his 30s in a matter of weeks will not fit into that area. If United are going to build a team for the future, steering clear of Costa would be good advice.

If United ended up signing the Brazilian this summer, his fee might not be all that big but his wage demands will be costly and if it did not work out, which could well be likely based on his achievements during the 2019/20 season, it would be hard to shift another high earner to another club who would struggle to afford the wages the player will be on at United. For that reason, United should keep pursuing the players they are, the ones that fit into Solskjaer’s plans for rebuilding the club.

Written by John Walker

Douglas Costa is not the answer if Manchester United fail to sign Jadon Sancho

Manchester United are reported interested in signing Juventus winger Douglas Costa, according to reports by The Mirror. The 29-year-old is said to be a fall back option in case United do not end up signing Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund this summer, which could well be a possibility.n That said, the Brazilian would not fit in with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plan for United moving forward and would be another short-term option and not a permanent fix. United need to be doing a lot better.

I have nothing against Costa other than the fact I do not think there will be any major benefit from United signing him. If you look back at his season with Juventus, despite making 29 appearances in all competitions, he scored just three goals and seven assists, which is not really something that would suggest Solskjaer needs to sign the player. Of course, Sir Alex Ferguson was once interested in signing the Brazilian but that does not mean he still has something to give to a club like United.

Juventus seem desperate to offload the player this summer, which suggests even more warning signs regarding a possible deal. The club will want to receive a good fee the for the player, with his current contract expiring in the summer of 2022. In a year’s time, the club will be lucky to get much money for the player. Clubs like United should be steering well clear of players that are earning large wages at other big European clubs. If they end up signing Costa, it will be like they never learned anything from the dreadful Alexis Sanchez deal.

Granted, spending £108 million on Jadon Sancho this summer is a massive load of cash but considering the player if 20, he has a long career ahead of him. He could remain at the Old Trafford club for 10-15 years, meaning he could cost United £10.8 million a season, plus wages, if he remained at the club for a decade. However, if his progress continued and he managed to become a much better player at United, his resale fee could rise which might even see United appear in a position that could see the value of the club rise, which seems to be important for Ed Woodward and the Glazers.

Players like Costa, who have had good careers in the game will continue to do the opposite for United, therefore should be largely ignored. What does it say about United’s prospects when they look for aging players instead of competing to sign the best players in the world. Sancho could become much like Cristiano Ronaldo did at United, growing in stature and vastly compete to become one of the players that eventually takes the reigns from the likes of Lionel Messi and Ronaldo.

Costa seems to be a player that could do some business in the Premier League, however, not for United. The Old Trafford club will see Costa as a player with a relatively low transfer fee with the money men seeing the benefits there instead of Sancho, when in actual fact, Sancho would help make the club more money, especially if the football became a much better brand at the club, which is needed. United’s first XI look great right now but the depth of the club is littered with players that do not quite have enough to give to the club. The club does not need another one of those.

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW