Manchester United’s desire to sign Jadon Sancho faces a fresh threat from Chelsea.
The Blues won their appeal against a transfer ban and can now sign players in January. Top of their list is Jadon Sancho, report Goal.
They can certainly afford him. The Telegraph report Chelsea have a £150 million transfer budget in January.
United are long term suitors of Sancho and everything had been progressing well in terms of the winger’s expected exit from Dortmund in 2020.
The Mail reported last month Dortmund have accepted this will be Sancho’s final season in Germany and they are already looking to sign replacements. He has also clashed with management, recently being substituted early and then dropped for their last Champions League game against Barcelona, before coming off the bench to score.
Who gets him?
United face competition from Chelsea now, while Real Madrid and Barcelona are also in the hunt, The Mail report. Liverpool are also hovering, The Echo report, although its uncertain if they want to get into a bidding war.
If Sancho moves in January, it is most likely to be a straight battle between United and Chelsea.
Chelsea look likely to make a play, so it will be up to United to respond and step up interest.
The Blues have an advantage of having a better chance of offering Champions League football next season, they sit fourth, eight points ahead of us, but that is a gap United could still potentially make up – especially with Sancho’s help.
United’s long term interest is likely to help, as is our clear cut need for a right winger. Chelsea recently signed his former teammate Christian Pulisic who he used to compete for position with.
The Pulisic deal could provide the framework for both clubs in negotiations this January. Chelsea signed him last January but agreed the deal would only go through in the summer.
This is an option both United and Chelsea could try if it helps gain an edge on the other.
The pressure is on
Sancho would cost a princely sum, with Dortmund looking for around £100 million, The Telegraph report.
This would be a club record for both teams and United need him more than Chelsea do.
If United were relaxed about Sancho and had pencilled him in as a summer target, to focus on a striker, Chelsea’s interest means it is time to reconsider that.
The pressure is on Ed Woodward. He has been trying to get this deal done for over a year. To get gazumped by a rival would be humiliating.
United supporters have learned to expect to underwhelmed by Woodward. His poor performance in his role has generated frustration and anger among supporters. Missing out again might be a step too far.
If he allows Chelsea to win the race for Sancho, United will be reminded of it every week in the Premier League. There’s a lot on the line, and if United blow it, Woodward will not be forgiven.
United can turn to other targets, and move on, but that’s not the point.
Sancho is clearly the one Woodward and co want, evidenced by the decision not to sign a right winger this summer and wait for Sancho to become available amid persistent links to the player.
Seeing him move to a rival would be a big blow, and leave United’s chase for a right winger back to square one.
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