Man Utd may have perfect Jadon Sancho transfer plan thanks to surprise Liverpool decision

Man Utd may have perfect Jadon Sancho transfer plan thanks to surprise Liverpool decision

Manchester United’s window has largely been a frustrating one. Although terms are agreed with Jadon Sancho over the contract he would sign at Old Trafford, United look no closer to sealing an agreement with Borussia Dortmund for the attacker.

The facts are simple: Dortmund want £108million and no less, while United simply won’t pay that amount, feeling the coronavirus pandemic renders that fee unreasonable despite his talents.

With just two weeks left of the window and no new forward yet through the door, United are canvassing their options if they cannot force Dortmund into a last-minute rethink – which appears unlikely.

And one of the most recent names to pop up on the rumour mill is Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, who the Red Devils would have a clear run at.

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An approach has been made per some reports and United appear the only real contenders for the former Rennes wide-man’s signature.

Liverpool were linked to the Senegalese winger throughout the window and are known to admire the 22-year-old’s abilities.

But after Thiago Alcantara’s move to Anfield was confirmed on Friday, the Premier League champions moved quickly to sign Diogo Jota from Wolves.

It was a surprise move, with Jota having not been mentioned as a Liverpool target before Friday. Just 24 hours later, the versatile Portuguese was unveiled as their third summer signing.

The Athletic have suggested Watford demanded up to £50m Sarr and that is why Liverpool were put off. They have agreed to pay up to £45m for Jota, with £41m guaranteed, but they will only pay £4m over the first 12 months.

Yet Sarr presents an intriguing option for United given he is young, has a heigh ceiling and perhaps most crucially, has experience of the Premier League.

That makes him different to some of the other Sancho alternatives that have been mooted, such as Juventus’ Douglas Costa or Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona.

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And 90min say that the Hornets’ asking price is actually closer to £40m. But according to the report, Watford’s stance might just be perfect for United, who need extra competition for Mason Greenwood and Dan James on the right wing.

That’s because 90min say that Championship promotion favourites Watford are open to a season-long loan deal, which would allow United to go back in for Sancho next summer.

By then, Sancho will be entering the final two years of his deal at Dortmund and the Bundesliga giants will know the valuation of the England international – who undoubtedly harbours ambitions to go up another level – will only drop from then on.

90min say United have even been offered Senegal international Sarr and that the 13-time Premier League winners are weighing up an offer.

But they might be best to test the waters with an approach over a loan move, with it claimed Watford are open to doing so with the view to either cashing in next summer or bringing him back into the team if they seal promotion.

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Though they drew at Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend, the Hertfordshire outfit’s squad makes them strong contenders for an automatic and immediate return to the top flight.

And acquiring Sarr’s services for a year and then sending him back to Watford, or even signing him permanently perhaps even in addition to Sancho if he performs well enough, might be ideal for Solskjaer.

It seems a deal for Sancho, 20, will have to wait a year and United will hope Dortmund are more receptive to accepting a lower fee in 12 months’ time – or that they are in a stronger position to commit a club-record £100m-plus fee to signing one player.

Having Sarr at Old Trafford in the mean-time would give the Norwegian coach vital extra options out wide, with James having started on the right in Saturday’s defeat at Crystal Palace while Greenwood was in reserve.

The Welshman’s form, however, has dipped since he started his United career brilliantly early into the 2019-20 campaign and he failed to have much of an impact against the Eagles – given he is better off of the left.

And Greenwood was the only player who could come on to take up a wide role to replace James against Palace. 

United need another player to offer a threat out wide – hence the interest in Sancho – and their right flank is the area in most urgent need of bolstering, with Marcus Rashford locking down the left-hand side.

Sarr produced five goals and six assists in 28 Premier League games last season and is mainly a right-sided winger but can also be deployed on the left or through the middle.

As temporary stand-ins go, they don’t get too much better.

Liverpool’s recruitment team are renowned for their efficiency and while they went with Jota over Sarr, that they scouted the Watford winger heavily and considered him a real option – only being put off by his high price given their financial constraints – says everything.

A loan deal for Sarr that does not include an obligation to sign the player would be the perfect 12-month stopgap to give time for United to put together a plan to land Sancho in 2021.

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Published at Mon, 21 Sep 2020 10:35:57 +0000