Manchester United face mounting competition to secure the signature of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, as Chelsea have now joined the fray.
The London club will know today if their transfer ban has been lifted and have made the 19-year-old winger their number one target for the January window if they are successful.
United are believed to have made enquiries about Sancho in the summer, but Dortmund slammed the door shut and insisted he should stay in Germany for another season. However, the English starlet’s relationship with coach Lucien Favre has deteriorated in recent weeks – he was subbed after 38 minutes against Bayern Munich and dropped for the Champions League game against Barcelona for turning up late for a pre-game team meeting – and this has given rise to speculation that Dortmund’s stance in regard to a January sale may not be as firm as it once was.
Sancho, London-born, is possibly the biggest name on the transfer market right now and has been valued at around £120 million. Chelsea are one of the few clubs that can match United at that kind of price and would be more likely to be able to offer him Champions League football next season, being eight points ahead of the Old Trafford club in the Premier League table at this stage of the season.
Another potential suitor is Real Madrid, who would see Sancho as a natural replacement for the fading Gareth Bale. Head coach Zinedine Zidane is a keen admirer and, as revealed by AS, even voted for Sancho in the Kopa trophy (under-21 Ballon d’Or) ahead of his own club’s prodigy Vinicius Junior.
United’s only trump card in the fight for the young star’s signature is that it is probably the only club in the chasing pack that can offer Sancho an almost guaranteed place in the starting line-up. Whether that will be enough to lure the world’s hottest property to Old Trafford remains to be seen.