Jadon Sancho: Man Utd set to add £100m gem to star-studded attack

After 18 months of speculation Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finally looks set to land his No.1 transfer target Jadon Sancho in a big-money deal from Borussia Dortmund.

England winger Sancho, 20, has been a revelation since he joined Dortmund following spells in the youth teams at Watford and Manchester City. 

After making his Dortmund first-team debut in October 2017 Sancho has shone with 30 goals and 38 assists in 78 Bundesliga matches. On the European stage for BVB he has scored three goals in 15 Uefa Champions League games. 

He was rewarded with a call-up to the England senior squad and following his debut in October 2018 he has gone on to win 11 caps and score twice for the Three Lions. 

Such form for club and country has seen Sancho linked with a host of European giants, but according to several media reports today United are on the verge of bringing the young attacker back to Manchester.

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Record breaker: the £100m man 

BBC Sport says Dortmund have placed a 10 August deadline on United securing a deal for Sancho. With the 2020-21 Bundesliga season starting on 18 September, the German club are keen for “undisturbed preparation” ahead of the new campaign.

According to Sky Sports United are close to “agreeing personal terms in principle” on a five-year contract with the player. Discussions between the Old Trafford club and Dortmund are at an “advanced stage” with the transfer fee the main hurdle. 

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It’s believed that Dortmund value Sancho at around €120m (£108m), but would be willing to accept less money up front, Sky reports. 

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and transfer negotiator Matt Judge are currently “locked in talks” with Dortmund, the Daily Mirror says, but hope to have the deal completed this week.  

Speaking on talkSPORT this morning The Sun’s Neil Custis also believes that the transfer “will be done within the week”. Custis says that the transfer fee for Sancho is “effectively £70m until United win the Premier League, Champions League or he makes 30 or 40 appearances”, then the add-on clauses will be triggered.  

It’s uncertain how much the actual fee could be, but with reports suggesting amounts between £100m and £120m, one thing that is likely is any deal for Sancho will be a record breaker. 

The current British transfer record is the £89m United spent on Paul Pogba in 2016 and the most expensive British player in history is Gareth Bale after he left Tottenham for Real Madrid in an £85m move in 2013.

Exciting prospect 

It’s not only Solskjaer and the United fans who are keen to see Sancho at Old Trafford – but also the player himself. The Independent reports that Sancho is “excited” at playing in the Premier League and the chance to join the club’s star-studded attack. 

United’s forward-line have impressed in front of goal, helping the club secure a third-placed finish in the Premier League and a return to next season’s Champions League. Sky Sports reports that Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have both scored 23 goals this season while 18-year-old Mason Greenwood chipped in with 18. 

It’s hoped that the arrival of Sancho can help United close the gap on their rivals. United finished 15 points behind second-placed Manchester City and 33 points behind champions Liverpool.

Neville: Sancho ‘fits the profile’

Despite the goals from the forward line and January signing Bruno Fernandes pulling the strings in midfield alongside Paul Pogba, Phil Neville believes Solskjaer’s team are short of a star player on the right-hand side. 

Former United and Everton defender Neville says the club should sign another “out-and-out winger” and Sancho is someone who can follow in the footsteps of iconic players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham. 

Speaking on The Webby & O’Neill Podcast, Neville said: “I think the right-hand side is the biggest area where we need to improve. An out-and-out winger. 

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“You think about the great Man Utd sides, Beckham, [Andrei] Kanchelskis… Ronaldo played out there, Ole Gunnar played on the right-hand side. I think the right-hand side is the one big hole in the squad. United haven’t really had anyone since Antonio Valencia, really. 

“Sancho can play out there and play really well. You’d say that’s someone who will fit the profile. You think Rashford and Greenwood, both British players, you think of Fernandes, he’s young and hungry – Sancho fits that.”

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