Manchester United’s pursuit of a top level striker does not appear to be a priority at present.
A move for Lyon’s Moussa Dembele for instance, one option, would likely cost around £60 million [Daily Record].
United simply do not have this kind of money set aside to spend on a striker this summer, with funds set aside for Jadon Sancho.
A move for Sancho, however, is far from certain, and there is now less than a month remaining before the transfer deadline.
United have also put off a move for Dayot Upamecano, at centre-back, until next year, report Sky Sports.
Stepping back from these pursuits certainly indicates a confidence, or at least hope, that a deal for Sancho will be done. But what if it can’t be?
Leaving too much to do?
If United cannot get a deal done for Sancho next summer, this will not be the end of it.
The club will make another attempt in a year’s time, with his contract running a year closer to completion, even though there will likely be more competition.
The club will still need to get a deal done for an extra centre-back, and a striker – as well as pursuing Sancho again, in the summer of 2021, which will be made complicated by an international tournament.
This summer, United have only managed one transfer so far. Can they really get Sancho, Upamecano, and Dembele – for instance – in one summer next year?
It would be way too optimistic for United to assume themselves capable of pulling that off.
So it is important this summer that if a move for Sancho falls through, United must use the funds available to snap up another top target – in another position.
Can’t keep kicking it down the track
United cannot keep kicking team needs down the track, and say, ‘we will sort this next summer’.
In addition to central defence, striker, and winger, United also need to find a long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic in defensive midfield.
Left-back is more of a desire than an urgent need right now, but if Luke Shaw has another injury hit season, this too will become a pressing priority in 2021 if left unaddressed.
There is a relaxed feeling at United over signing a striker right now because Odion Ighalo is at the club until the end of January. Next summer it will be a priority.
If Sancho signs, United will have enough attacking firepower to help cover this need even when he goes, until the end of the season.
But if there is no Sancho, and there is no clear cut alternative as it seems, United need to use the funds to land a top striker this summer.
Failing to sign either a winger or a striker will mean there will be an even bigger to do list in 2021 than there is now, and United’s rebuilding will begin to look like a job which will never be completed.
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