At the time of writing we find ourselves with 18 days remaining until the transfer window slams shut for Premier League clubs.
We have already seen some big moves with Timo Werner, James Rodriguez and Donny van de Beek all coming into the league. Along with big internal switches from the likes of Willian, Matt Doherty, and Ben Chilwell.
It’s also a window that we flirted with the idea of seeing Lionel Messi move to Manchester City. All we needed was Stoke City and a wet night on Tuesday to answer an age-old question about the character of Messi.
While the Messi saga has come to an end, we are still waiting on a conclusion to another ongoing transfer story.
It seems from day one of this window Manchester United have been linked with exciting prospect Jadon Sancho.
The 20-year-old English man is currently playing ball in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund. He has played 78 league games and scored 30 times in those games since making his debut in 2017.
Since then he has made a real name for himself in the football community. He has been tipped as a future world star by many. Sancho has also heavily impressed on big stages like the Champions League and representing England at international level.
So, you can see why a club like Manchester United would be keen on signing the young man.
He played for the blue side of Manchester before making the move to Germany but seems tailor made for United. Sancho has been the Red Devils priority in this window. As previously mentioned, they have strengthened their midfield by adding Donny van de Beek from Ajax. You feel if they could bring in Sancho it would turn the Champions League hopefuls into creditable title contenders.
Deal Still Not Done
However, like previous windows Manchester United’s Chief Executive Ed Woodward is taking his sweet time getting it done and dusted.
Woodward is known for taking the slow approach when negotiation big deals. A tactic that can usually see United missing out on their big target that they have spent the entire window bargaining over and leaving them with nothing.
In fairness to Dortmund they have laid their cards on the table. It’s believed their asking price is £108 million for the player.
Despite this United continue to try other negotiation tactics to try get that price down.
United have recently been linked with returning Gareth Bale to the Premier League. I don’t feel this will happen down to a combination of his age and wage demands. Plus, if Bale is to return to England in the later stage of his career a move back to Tottenham seems the most likely.
You can look at this as a smokescreen of sorts. Woodward may be hoping Dortmund will panic when they see United look at alternative options and bring down that asking price to get the deal over the line.
While it is crazy money for such a young player sadly that’s the way the market is these days.
If the club is serious and really want the player, they should pay the fee.
Especially with United’s first Premier League game coming up this weekend against Crystal Palace. The quicker you get him in the better. He can settle in and build up that well needed chemistry with the likes of Rashford, Martial and Greenwood.
They also need to get more than just Jadon Sancho into the club. If they want to be serious contenders, this season they also need a new centre back and possibly another back up striker.
So, for a serious lack of a better term they need to s**t or get off the pot. Pay the big fee and get Sancho in or move on.
The Best Alternative?
I think they should look to the past in a way and bring back someone to Old Trafford who probably didn’t show their true potential last time around.
Memphis Depay seems like the answer. He played for United from 2015 until 2017 when he was sold on to Ligue 1 side Lyon.
Depay had his moments in Manchester, but it just didn’t work out for him.
The Dutchman was only 23 when he left Manchester United for Lyon. Since then he has really improved and matured his game. I understand Ligue 1 and the Premier League are completely different leagues, but Depay could be ready for another crack in England.
Depay has made 105 league appearances for Lyon and has scored 47 times during those games. He has also impressed in the most recent edition of the Champions League.
Depay scored a respectable six goals during the 2019/20 competition, equalling the tally of Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling. While out scoring Kylian Mbappe, Luis Suarez, Mauro Icardi and Karim Benzema.
He became only the second Dutch player to score in six straight Champions League games, following in the footsteps of other fellow Manchester United player Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Even this season Lyon have only played three games, but Depay has scored four goals in those games. Including a hat trick during their opening game against Dijon.
His consistent performances and cracking goals even made him become captain of Lyon. A true sign of his maturity and improvements on the pitch.
Hijack The Barca Move
I know a lot of people will reading this will see Depay being heavily linked with a move to Barcelona. It does make sense that Depay will link up with his former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman. But Koeman has even said himself that Barcelona will need to sell before they can bring in Depay.
This is the perfect opportunity for United to hijack the deal. It wouldn’t even be that difficult.
Depay initially signed for Lyon on a four-year contract. The reported fee was around £16 million with add-ons bringing it to around £22 million.
This deal also had more terms that suited Manchester United. It included a sell on clause but more importantly for this point a buy back clause. To activate this sell on clause all United must do is match the initial transfer fee.
So, all United need to do is pay in the region of £22 million to bring Depay back to the club.
Certainly, a far cry away from the £108 million asking price for Jadon Sancho.
Due to the clauses United will be notified when an official bid is made for the player too.
His Heart Belongs In Manchester
Depay is still only 26 years old with plenty of years ahead of him hopefully. He is also ever improving and has plenty of attributes that suggest another spell in the Premier League could go better for him.
Depay is also versatile and can play out on as a wide attacker or central striker in that Manchester United front three.
You can certainly understand the lure of Barcelona. But one look at Depay’s social media will show you how much of Manchester United fan he really is.
He would find it hard to turn down another crack in Old Trafford. Especially now they are playing a better style that would suit him more under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer compared to the negative style he was forced to play under Van Gaal.
The Mason Greenwood Factor
You also must think about Mason Greenwood.
I think it is safe to say that the lad is very capable and belongs at a club like Manchester United. But would the addition of Sancho do him no favours?
Obviously, it goes without saying that if Sancho came into United, he would be one of the main men. He will be a regular started as the club will want to get maximum value out of their investment.
Where does Mason Greenwood fit in then?
Greenwood is still only 18 and doesn’t necessarily have to be a regular started for the 2020/21 season. You don’t want to push the lad too hard to soon.
However, if they do bring in Sancho who will likely play in the same position as Greenwood and is only two years older, the worry would be that will push Mason out of the starting 11 for the foreseeable future.
Nobody can deny the clear talent of Sancho and any United fan would be delighted to see him step out in Old Trafford. It may be one that they don’t really need coming into this season.
Give It Another Year?
It wasn’t really a position that needed improving if the evidence of last season is to go by.
With Sancho being so young you could almost wait until next season. It gives him for time to develop more at Dortmund, gives Greenwood more time to become comfortable as a regular at United and gives Martial a full do or die season to show he can perform on a consistent basis.
Once all of this happens then you can see if signing Jadon Sancho is the right move heading into the 2021/22 season.
This is all very unlikely to happen but it’s just a suggestion I give you to mull over and debate.
Of course, if you do that, you’re running the risk of Sancho leaving and going elsewhere. Especially considering he has indicated he would like to return to England.
This statement could come back to haunt me. Sancho isn’t the be all and end all either. Like any transfer he could come over and flop. Every big money transfer is a risk but with Greenwood ever improving at the rate he is it could turn out to be a needless one.
Personally, I would just hate to see the progress of Mason Greenwood get stunted due to limited opportunities.
While the prospects of Greenwood, Rashford and Sancho as a front three is mouth-watering on paper, it would be wrong to count out Anthony Martial.
Martial is the oldest from this conversation but he is still only 24 years old. He has also proved on his day that he is a smashing player. His day just needs to become more regular this season. But if he can get the consistency right it will be another good headache for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Now We Play The Waiting Game
This Sancho to United sage is at somewhat of a crossroads currently. With neither United or Dortmund wanting to budge and show their hand to the other.
So, if United have no intention in paying the asking price now is the time to look at other alternative options. It can’t be another situation of stalling and getting nothing done.
I will clarify that as a Manchester United fan I would love Sancho to come to the club. This isn’t knocking the move it’s just being realistic.
This is certainly one that could go down to the wire of the 5th of October deadline.
As always this is just a talking topic. We would love to hear from fans and non-fans of Manchester United.
Should United just fork out for Sancho? Are their better alternatives out there that suit the club better?
Let us know we would love to hear them.
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