Manchester United declined chance to sign Benjamin Sesko for £2.5m in 2019

An expensive past mistake could be haunting Manchester United as the chase for Benjamin Sesko goes on.

Sky Sports report United have held talks with Red Bull Salzburg over signing the Slovenian wonderkid.

A £55 million asking price is a stumbling block which Manchester United are trying to overcome. It didn’t need to be this way.

The Athletic report Manchester United could have signed Sesko for a fraction of the price in 2019.

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United could have signed Benjamin Sesko for £2.5m

The report states: “United have scouted Sesko since he was at Slovenian club, Domzale. Back then, in 2019, United viewed a €3million (£2.5m, $3.1m) price as excessive.”

The current cost of £55 million makes United passing on a move for Sesko an expensive error.

In 2019 United moved to sign young striker Mateo Mejia from Real Zaragoza instead. He has been struck by injuries which have hampered his development and is finally fit again this season.

United also swooped to sign Hannibal from Monaco, and he has gone onto make his first team debut although is expected to head out on loan.

A year later United’s youth recruitment went into overdrive, with Alejandro Garnacho, Charlie McNeill, Marc Jurado and Isak Hansen-Aaroen among those signed, who played a part in the FA Youth Cup winning team in 2022.

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Hindsight is always wonderful, and United are no doubt kicking themselves now for spurning the opportunity to sign Sesko three years ago.

It would be very ‘on brand’ for Manchester United to now pay £55 million for a striker available for a fraction of the price years earlier. But perhaps Sesko would not be the player he is today, if he had joined then.

The teenager has flourished in Red Bull Salzburg’s youth system, scoring 34 first team goals already, some of which were out on loan, and he has had chances he wouldn’t have had at United.

If successful in landing Sesko now, United would be signing a more complete player, who is ready to contribute to the first team, with much of the development work done already. He will just be substantially more expensive.

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