Manchester United have been linked with a move for Jadon Sancho for many months now, but it seems as if things might finally be coming into place for the winger to make a return to Manchester, three years after he left Manchester City to join Borussia Dortmund. In his time in the Bundesliga, the 20-year-old has been a sensation, consistently scoring and setting up goals to become one of the most productive wingers in European football. The Bundesliga season has just recently concluded, and Sancho finished with 17 goals and 16 assists from 32 appearances to help his team finish second behind Bayern Munich. That sort of output is exactly what United need, and thus it is no surprise that the club are now ready to make a big-money bid for the winger.
However, fans need to hold on to their football accumulators for the moment. If reports are to be believed, United will only move for Sancho if they manage to qualify for the Champions League for next season. If they do qualify, it is being reported that the Red Devils will send a bid of about £109m to Dortmund, which would break many records. It would become the highest fee paid for an English player, eclipsing United’s own capture of Harry Maguire for £80m from Leicester City last summer, while becoming the club’s record signing as well as the highest fee paid by a Premier League club. However, if they do not make it to the Champions League, the club will wait till next summer to make their move. With United currently in fifth place, level on points with Leicester in fourth and four points behind third-placed Chelsea, with a game in hand on both teams, it is going to be an extremely tight race for those spots, with United’s last game of the season, against Leicester, likely to be a direct shootout for one of those places. The club are also still in the Europa League, and could therefore also qualify for the Champions League by winning that tournament. However, with the likes of Inter Milan, Bayer Leverkusen, Sevilla and AS Roma also around, it will not be an easy task.
Nevertheless, United do need to sign Sancho, even with Mason Greenwood’s stunning rise this season. The 2-2 draw against Southampton showed that while the Red Devils have a very good first XI at the moment, the quality of their substitutes is not at the same level, and so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been playing the same team for five games in a row, leading to fatigue and the inevitable tired performance like we saw at Old Trafford against the Saints. Signing Sancho, along with a couple of other quality players, would give the manager the chance to rotate his squad without being worried about a drop-off in quality, and would thus also keep the squad fresh and motivated to fight for their place as well. Greenwood has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season, but he is only 18 years old, and it is not right to put so much pressure on him at this stage of his career. Signing Sancho would allow him to be able to develop further at his own pace, while providing United with a world-class option on the flanks, something they have arguably lacked since Cristiano Ronaldo left Old Trafford over a decade ago.