Jadon Sancho is Manchester United‘s most likely signing from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s shortlist of prospective summer incomings, according to reports. The United manager is said to have shortlisted four potential additions in defence, midfield and attack.
Among them is Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho, one of Europe’s most exciting attackers across the past three seasons.
Despite a slow start to the 2020-21 campaign, the England international still ended with 16 goals and 20 assists from just 38 first-team appearances as Dortmund won the DFB Pokal.
Though he is still only 21, and does not turn 22 for almost another year, Sancho has now racked up 114 direct goal involvements in 137 senior appearances for the German giants.
And the former Manchester City trainee has long been tracked by United, who wanted to sign him last summer but were put off by an £108million price tag.
That is not the only time United were eager to sign the player with a bid having been eyed before he swapped England for Germany back in 2017.
It’s widely believed that valuation has dropped to around £80m this summer as Dortmund turn the bulk of their focus towards keeping prolific striker Erling Haaland, another player liked by United.
The Bundesliga heavyweights are more inclined to part ways with Sancho this year having had three years of top-level first-team service from the forward.
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, Tottenham striker Harry Kane and a centre-back – either of Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane or Villarreal’s Pau Torres – are Solskjaer’s other shortlisted targets.
And The Guardian say Sancho is currently the most likely acquisition of the five players this summer with a summer swoop to bring Kane to Old Trafford less likely, with Man City instead the frontrunners.
It has been claimed in other quarters that Sancho would prefer his future to be resolved prior to Euro 2020, with it expected he will be among Gareth Southgate’s 26-man final squad for the tournament.
But with the Euros just two weeks away, getting underway on Friday June 11, that may be unlikely unless United make an immediate bid to boost the morale of the fanbase after their Europa League final loss to Villarreal.
Instead, the work behind United’s business is likely to be done in the background of the Euros and then completed post-tournament.
After Wednesday night’s disappointing Gdansk defeat to Villarreal Solskjaer made it clear he expects two or three signings capable of starting week-in, week-out for United.
“I’ve been delighted with the effort, the desire, the determination of all of the players, I can’t fault them at all,” the Norwegian said.
“We’ve probably done as well as anyone could imagine. We are here now, we need to do better, we need to work better, work harder, cleverer.
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“But as I said two or three players to strengthen the starting XI and the squad all together is important for us to go even further.
“Because I’m sure our contenders or challengers will also want to improve and we want to improve as much as we can.”
Solskjaer will hope several additions can help United bridge the gap to Premier League champions and neighbours Manchester City.
Despite finishing second, United were a distant 12 points behind City come the final standings and rarely looked like preventing the title from returning to the Etihad.
The club have already moved to bring Tom Heaton back to the club. The goalkeeper’s contract at Aston Villa is up and the United academy graduate will return on a free to replace Sergio Romero and Lee Grant, both of whom will leave next month.
Heaton is likely to become the new No 2 for Solskjaer with one of David de Gea or Dean Henderson set to move on in the upcoming window.