Jadon Sancho was Manchester United’s top target in summer 2020 but the club could not pull off a deal.
This summer a move could be possible, and it’s not just because Sancho’s contract is a year closer to it’s June 2023 end date.
Sancho has 12 goals and 12 assists this season in all competitions, and at just 21, is a very exciting prospect.
Over the past week there have been three developments which could make a 2021 Sancho to Manchester United move more likely.
Dortmund suffered a huge blow at the weekend as they lost 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt, who sit fourth in the Bundesliga.
It means Dortmund are now seven points behind the Champions League qualifying places, with seven games remaining.
A big turnaround is needed, and it won’t be easy, with Dortmund’s remaining fixtures including ties with third placed Wolfsburg, and Bayer Leverkusen and Union Berlin, who sit sixth and seventh.
This year’s Champions League ties with City will also prove a distraction, and the defeat to Frankfurt could be a critical defeat, with Dortmund missing the chance to cut the gap to one point – instead seeing it increase to seven.
Missing out on Champions League football would increase Sancho’s desire to leave, while also weakening Dortmund from a financial perspective.
Sancho had a minor injury which kept him out of the recent England squad. This could hurt the Dortmund star.
The Mail report his place in England’s Euro 2021 squad is not guaranteed, with Gareth Southgate considering leaving him out.
This seems a risk on Southgate’s part, but England’s squad is packed with talent, and Jesse Lingard’s return to form has increased the competition for places in attack.
Missing out on the Euros could help United on two counts. Firstly it would prevent his price soaring as a result of strong performances at the tournament.
Secondly it would show Sancho that his international ambitions can’t be realised at Dortmund, and he needs a move to a top English club.
The fact his place is questionable at all, could be enough. If Sancho had 12 goals and 12 assists for United, his place would be locked in.
Dortmund showed last summer that when they don’t want to sell a player, they will stick to their word.
This year, their stance has softened already. Erling Haaland is the star they are desperate to keep, and Sancho is going to be available.
Hans-Joachim Watzke, club CEO, was quoted over the weekend by Goal stating Dortmund are open to negotiations.
He said: “Jadon Sancho has been with us much longer than Erling Haaland. We’ll have to speak to Jadon too. If there is an exceptional offer we will discuss it with the player and the agent, as always.”
The bar for an ‘exceptional offer’ is likely to be lower than last year, especially if Dortmund miss out on the Champions League.
This summer could finally be the year United land the winger.
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