You can never rule out Manchester United returning for a transfer target Ed Woodward missed out on the first time around.

After a failed pursuit of Harry Maguire in 2018, United paid more to sign him in 2019.

Then after missing out on Bruno Fernandes in 2019, United realised what a big error had been made, and signed him in January. Thankfully.

So could there be a second shot for United this coming January or next summer over either Jadon Sancho or Erling Haaland, two players United tried and failed to sign this year?

The Athletic claims both are possibilities. Both are terrific players, but United should probably look elsewhere.

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Dealing with Dortmund

Dealing with Dortmund proved difficult this summer. The fault for that may lie with United.

But United were able to conclude deals with Ajax, Porto and Atalanta for players. Dortmund were difficult to deal with because they did not want to sell for anything less than a king’s ransom.

The £108 million they demanded for Jadon Sancho was viewed as excessive by United and that is unlikely to have changed.

He has no goals in five Bundesliga and Champions League games this season so far.

Selling for less than the price quoted would be an admission of failure from Dortmund, one they won’t want to take, especially to United.

 

They will be even more resistant to selling Haaland. The striker has a release clause which comes into effect in 2022.

Dortmund could sell next summer if a big bid substantially above £70 million came in.

Again, there should be little faith that United can get this one done, and there will be substantial agent fees for Mino Raiola to pay.

Look in a different direction

United eventually made alternative transfer moves this summer, signing Edinson Cavani on a free transfer up front, and investing in two young wingers for the future, Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo.

This was an indication that for now, United are moving away from paying excessive fees.

Atalanta v Renate - Pre Season Friendly
(Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A long, complicated saga for either Sancho or Haaland is not in anybody’s interests right now, especially as it is likely to end up with United drawing a blank or missing out to a rival.

Instead United should prepare now to find better priced and less hyped up alternative signings which can be made in January or more likely next summer.

There’s little use chasing both Haaland and Sancho in a more condensed window next summer and then abandoning the plan with a week to go and panicking again.

United need a cohesive, achievable plan over transfers next summer, and the best move to make would be to set Sancho and Haaland aside and focus elsewhere.

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