Manchester United have numerous incentives to strike an early summer deal to sign Jadon Sancho, and get the club’s transfer window off to a flying start.
German channel Sport1 report United are in pole position to win the race for the winger’s signature.
An early deal for Sancho would be a great start for United’s transfer business… but beware, there could be a sting in the tail.
One goes in, one goes out…
Sancho would cost United a fee of around £78 million, Sport1 report. That’s a substantial decrease on Dortmund’s asking price of a year ago.
One worry for United supporters is that Sancho ends up becoming a replacement for Paul Pogba.
A year ago this would not have been possible. Now, due to Pogba’s new position in attack, it’s very possible to see.
Pogba’s contract is currently winding down, and after this year he will have just one year left. Publicly, he has made no comment on how he sees his future. United will not want to lose him on a free transfer for a second time.
A late sale to balance the books towards the end of the transfer window could very well happen, and Sancho coming in would help alleviate the loss.
You have to look at this through the lens of where Pogba will play position-wise, next season.
In attack, with Sancho in, United would have Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Paul Pogba, Amad Diallo, and Dan James all competing for just two wide spots on the left and right of a 4-2-3-1 formation.
This kind of depth is all well and good over the course of a long season, but very difficult to keep everybody happy when you have a big cup final and everybody is fit.
Take Pogba out of that mix and with Sancho, United are still comfortably set, and could add another young winger or promote Anthony Elanga for depth.
Pogba has been a revelation in a more attacking role this season, playing some of his best football during his United career.
Where does he want to play?
Pogba seems to enjoy playing this forward role, but his opportunities there may decrease if Sancho signs.
If he stays, he may simply revert to playing in more of a midfield two – but this will depend on United signing a new defensive midfielder.
The Pogba and McTominay combination has not worked and neither has Pogba and Fred.
But previously we have seen Pogba and Matic shine, while for France, he flourishes in a midfield two with Ngolo Kante.
If United sign a top defensive midfielder to replace the ageing Matic, then staying at United will appeal to Pogba more.
Adding Sancho could in itself tempt Pogba to stay, with him seeing United are strengthening and showing ambition.
In theory Sancho’s possible arrival would be a positive, and bring optimism to the club. But until the transfer window closes, there will be a nagging doubt that he would be signed as a star name to offset Pogba’s potential departure, on and off the pitch.
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