Man Utd may have perfect Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland transfer plan that saves £86m | Football | Sport


As Manchester United were chasing a late equaliser to Liverpool last Thursday night only to lose 4-2 to their bitter rivals, Borussia Dortmund – and namely Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland – were busy toasting the club’s first trophy in four years.

Going head-to-head with RB Leipzig, whose manager Julian Nagelsmann will take over at Bayern Munich at the end of the season, Dortmund were 3-0 up at half-time; Sancho with two, Haaland with one.

Dani Olmo pulled one back for Leipzig but Haaland added a late fourth to take himself to 39 goals in 39 games (now 40 after the 3-1 league win over Mainz at the weekend) – added to 11 assists – this season and add extra gloss to the scoreline before the trophy lift.

Suddenly, what has been a turbulent campaign has produced silverware while Dortmund have also qualified for the Champions League group stages next season courtesy of a six-match Bundesliga winning streak.

Sadly for supporters of the German club, they look set to be at the centre of two of the biggest transfer sagas this summer with Sancho and Haaland. They’ve had to become accustomed to losing their top talents in recent years, and look resigned to fate once more with their latest set of world-class forwards, whose futures in North-Rhine Westphalia.

Questions were asked at the start of the season as to whether Sancho’s standards had slipped after a summer of speculation put him out of his rhythm, as he himself admitted.

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Some response since, then. His brace against Leipzig took him to 16 goals and 19 assists in 36 games (now 16 goals and 20 assists in 37 matches after Mainz) this term, which have perhaps most impressively been split across multiple roles in the Dortmund attack.

Fourteen games starting on the right wing have seen him Sancho at his most creative (five goals, nine assists) while he has been more prolific from the left (nine goals, eight assists). He’s spent nine games as an attacking midfielder or as a centre-forward too (two goals, three assists).

The England international, who already has 18 England caps, is a true phenomenon in every sense of the word. The Camberwell-born attacker only turned 21 back in March but has managed over 100 direct goal contributions for Dortmund’s first team since his debut in October 2017.

And yet it appears he will be available at a discount price this summer, or at least a discount on the £108m valuation put on him by Dortmund a year ago.

Man United have kept a keen eye on the former Manchester City prodigy for at least 18 months while team-mate Haaland is another player admired within the Old Trafford boardroom.

But a price tag of £130m to £150m may just price out every club in Europe, despite Manchester City and Chelsea’s riches, because the towering frontman can be signed for £64m in 2022 due to a release clause in his contract.

United arguably need a right-sided forward more immediately than they need a centre-forward of Haaland’s calibre anyway, with Edinson Cavani under contract for another year.

And should United’s new-look recruitment team, headed by director of football John Murtough, have their wits about them, they may just be able to pull off a transfer masterplan, one which could yield major honours galore over the next few seasons.

Sancho, per some reports, is the new No 1 target for the Red Devils this summer, on top of an elite-level centre-back. United are said to believe they can secure a deal for the Dortmund wonderkid for £80m. If they can, they must.

That is a big fee but the forward will repay it over time and can be the answer to the club’s long-standing problems on the right side of their attack. He looks capable of becoming the best winger in world football.

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Having Sancho and Rashford on either side with Bruno Fernandes in the middle and Cavani up top, with Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as alternative options across several of those positions, would be a fearsome attack.

Yet United could then improve upon that even further in 2022, if they can beat the competition to secure Haaland’s signature. It won’t be easy, and perhaps United should offer to pay a premium to seal a deal early, with it almost certain he will leave then if he hasn’t left this summer.

Dortmund, for their part, are insisting he’s going nowhere. When they made similar noises with Sancho a year ago, he indeed stayed put at the Westfalenstadion.

Signing Norwegian striker Haaland – who played under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Molde – next year would see United save as much as £86m. That would be on top of the near £30m they will have saved if they sign Sancho for £80m in the coming months, having been quoted £108m last year.

The idea of replicating Haaland and Sancho’s link-up at Dortmund in Manchester is a tantalising prospect for United supporters. They are two of the very best attackers in world football even though one is barely 21 and the other doesn’t turn the same age until late July.

The two, paired with the likes of Rashford, Greenwood and Fernandes, would be a sight to behold and potentially one of United’s greatest ever attacks.

Of course, £144m to sign both is not pocket change. Yet given some reports claim Dortmund want more than that alone for Haaland, it is an investment that makes perfect sense, and one that could produce immense rewards for the club.

United must do their absolute all to get both Sancho and Haaland into the building over the next year, and signing one this summer and the other a year later might make perfect sense if it allows them to strengthen in central defence and other areas of the team this summer too.

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