Let’s just say Borussia Dortmund are not bluffing over their ‘final decision’ to keep their top star [BBC]. If Jadon Sancho really is off the table, then Manchester United need to re-think.
A plan should not involve getting caught in a long-drawn out saga for Jack Grealish, who will be overpriced at £80 million [The Times]. Forget that, he does not represent good value for money at all.
United need a total re-think, and this may not involve committing the biggest part of the transfer budget towards an attacker.
There are only two genuine outstanding attacking alternatives for United in the Sancho mould.
They are the more versatile Kai Havertz, and Wolves powerhouse Adama Traore. Neither will come cheap.
But if they are not considered right or attainable, then United need to push right wing down the priority list and sign a top quality player in another position.
Make the right moves
In other words, if you cannot sign your top target in one area, then make sure you do in another.
This could mean United bring forward plans to sign an elite defensive midfielder, and pay big.
This could be a Thomas Partey, Wilfred Ndidi, or young Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga.
Alternately United could look to centre-back, and spend highly on Kalidou Koulibaly, simply because we can, and there is Sancho money which can be reinvested in the defence.
Top players are available
Another plan is for United to look at signing the two best midfield players on the market.
These are multiple-time Bundesliga winner Thiago Alcantara, and Ajax star Donny van de Beek.
Another route is to address the striker situation and do a deal for a Moussa Dembele or Odsonne Edouard to replace Odion Ighalo. Raul Jimenez has previously seemed unlikely, but if we have Sancho cash to burn, then why not?
United have had months to plan. There should be a strategy to sign a few hidden gems too. Red Bull Salzburg duo Patson Daka (24 goals) and Dominik Szoboszlai (12 goals, 18 assists) would both fit the bill.
But what is important is that we do not waste the money on inconsistent players like Douglas Costa, injury prone ones like Ousmane Dembele, or ones who just are not good enough like Josh King.
United must buy quality, top quality. If the Sancho deal just cannot be done, through fault of our own, or Dortmund’s obtuseness, then the Red Devils must pivot, and sign first choice players in another position.
Summary of players mentioned: Kai Havertz, Adama Traore, Donny van de Beek, Thiago Alcantara, Wilfred Ndidi, Thomas Partey, Eduardo Camavinga, Moussa Dembele, Odsonne Edouard, Patson Daka, Dominik Szoboszlai.
Sign any three of this above combination, and United mean business next season, even without Sancho.
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