Harry Kane’s reported availability points Manchester United to a fork in the road in the transfer market this summer.

Do United stick to the current path, directed to a likely move for Jadon Sancho? Or do the club change course and chase after Kane?

With both players costing huge fees, surely there is no way to sign both, so United will have to choose between the two.

Well, in theory, it might be possible to land both players. But it would take some real ruthlessness, ambition, and sacrifice in order to do so.

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What could be done

Based on Sancho’s estimated price tag of £80 million and Kane costing around £120 million, United would have to find £200 million to land them both. Perhaps that might not even be enough.

United’s transfer budget is likely around £80 million this summer, before player sales. So United would essentially need to finance the Kane move from departures. This is when United need to get aggressive.

United can sell fringe players like Jesse Lingard (£20 million), Diogo Dalot (£10 million), Andreas Pereira (£10 million), and possibly also Brandon Williams (£10 million).

That’s £50 million right there. Then it would be time to cash in on one of the goalkeepers, either Dean Henderson or David de Gea, dependent on United’s preference. Potentially another £40 million can be raised.

Then it would be time to be tough and wave goodbye to Anthony Martial, putting him on the market and looking to recoup £30 million.

 

These departures would bring in the £120 million required, potentially, to finance the Kane deal. United could try to sell Nemanja Matic too for another £10 million if required.

The Telegraph report Kane could cost as much as £150 million, meaning United would have to make a further sacrifice by selling Donny van de Beek on top of these other departures, to make the finances add up.

Don’t bet on it

It sounds so easy, right? Unfortunately United are far from efficient in the transfer market, and this type of transfer business is easy to write down, but far from simple to pull off.

Last season United struggled to both sell and buy players, and could not even pull off a deal for Sancho, let alone Sancho and Kane.

Selling six or seven players seems logical but it is not always straightforward. United wanted to sell the likes of Lingard and Pereira last summer but had to settle for loans.

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The bigger issue for United is that these moves would leave the squad stripped of some of it’s depth, and lacking in balance.

A new centre-back is needed, along with a defensive midfielder. Possibly a new right-back too. There won’t be any money for these additions if United blow everything on Sancho and Kane.

Perhaps it will be worth it, but United can do so much more by landing Sancho, and then spreading the rest of the money gained from player sales around.

A more ruthless club may take the plan outlined above and run with it, but it’s not really United’s style, not under the Glazers.

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