Whisper it quietly, but there is a growing belief that Jadon Sancho could finally become a Manchester United player this summer.
Sancho risked falling into the same category as Wesley Sneijder, Nico Gaitan and Ezequiel Garay, such was the incessant coverage of his failed move a year ago, with United eventually voicing concerns about the overall cost of such a deal in a global financial crisis.
Eight months on and the Borussia Dortmund star is once again on United’s radar with talks now underway between the two clubs in order to gauge the possibility of a deal.
This Wednesday marks the official opening of the Premier League transfer window and in 12 weeks’ time we’ll be able to look back and evaluate just how much progress United have really made off the pitch under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United are looking at a minimum of three signings over the next few months, with the club currently planning to go ‘all out’ to sign a new centre-back, with the view to whoever that may be being the first-choice partner for Harry Maguire from next season.
Investment at right-back is also high on the list amid a renewed interest in Kieran Trippier, while the club is not categorically ruling out the addition of a new striker or midfielder given they are also long-term concerns from Solskjaer.
Out of all the options it is arguably the addition of a world-class youngster like Sancho which would be the biggest signal of intent, given he is somewhat a luxury buy, but also one who ticks every single box in regards to a possible new recruit.
Just last week Joel Glazer reiterated that Solskjaer will be backed in the transfer market this summer when he appeared on a fans’ forum on Friday and the understanding is that Dortmund are open to selling their star winger, but only if a club meets their valuation of the player.
A year ago Dortmund demanded £108million for Sancho and wanted a deal done before they returned to pre-season training. United consistently stated that a nine-figure fee during a transfer window affected by the pandemic was unrealistic. With neither side willing to budge discussions became deadlocked and an agreement was never close to being reached.
If sensible offers aren’t made this time around then United risk a repeat of last summer, although the club will likely look to structure any deal in a way which sees a hefty lump sum bolstered by further add-on payments to meet the valuation.
Once again it has been reiterated that a deal isn’t imminent, but if United are serious about their interest this summer then they might need to accelerate plans, despite the European Championship getting underway on Friday.