Despite Covid-19 and rearranged football schedules, it always seems to be transfers that are the top story in football. That won’t change this summer, as Jadon Sancho is set to dominate the headlines during the “summer” transfer window this post-season.
Sancho, 19, is set to be the centre of a tug-of-war between Europe’s biggest clubs as Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG are all interested in England’s electric winger.
While Borussia Dortmund are calm about the situation, claiming that they are aware of the interest and won’t sell for less than their asking price just because of the Covid-19 pandemic. That asking price is reportedly €130 million, around £115 million, which has already got some clubs doubling back a little.
Real Madrid have already claimed behind the scenes that there will be no big signings at the Bernabeu this summer as they prioritise their finances and sales to generate cash. Barcelona’s cash problems are well known so he isn’t a priority for them either. PSG would be interested if a move to Spain materialises for either Neymar or Mbappe, but for the reasons already mentioned that seems unlikely too. That leaves the four English sides to battle it out for his signature.
Liverpool are likely to be out of the race, considering they look certain to miss out on Timo Werner to Chelsea due to the finances of the deal. It could be that the club have pulled out of the Werner deal to ensure they can compete for Sancho, although that seems unlikely. Manchester City have come back into the race, with Sky Sports reporting that Sancho is open to returning to the Etihad Stadium after three years in Germany.
The real battle seems to between Chelsea and Manchester United. United are the most interested and according to most are willing to pay the highest fee to Dortmund, but they think the current asking price is too high. Another option would of course be for Sancho to stay in the Bundesliga for another year, which would leave him with one-year left on his contract going into next summer’s transfer window.
But what would Sancho’s best option be? He’s not short of them but which one would actually suit him the most and be best for his development?
At Manchester United, he walks straight into the starting line-up and improves the side immediately. On the right-wing, you would imagine he partners Anthony Martial and England team-mate Marcus Rashford in attack while being serviced from midfield by Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and potentially Donny Van de Beek. A solid attack for a team looking to get back to the head of the table in English football. The issue here is that United’s manager isn’t setting the world alight. There are many question marks about his ability at the top level and even with the Red Devils pressing for the Champions League places, his performance this season has been well below par for many fans.
At Chelsea, he’d have more competition for his place. He’d also likely get put out onto the left wing, which wouldn’t be a problem for him at all. A new look attack of Werner, Ziyech and Sancho would do much to excite the fans and push Chelsea towards the title. It would also mark a return home for Sancho, who was born in London. A young English core is coming through at Stamford Bridge, with a lot of Sancho’s good friends at the club. Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori are all close to Sancho and could help to persuade him to exchange his yellow shirt for a blue one.
At Manchester City, you’d assume Sancho would come in as a direct replacement for Leroy Sane should the German complete an expected move to Bayern Munich. For the price he’d demand, you’d expect him to go straight into the line-up but he’d face stiff competition from Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and even potentially Phil Foden in the wide positions. While you’d assume that he would be first choice because of the fee, Guardiola is known to rotate a lot with the options he has so that could see his game-time diminish. Not to mention that he has previously clashed with manager Pep Guardiola over game-time, which ultimately led to his decision to leave the Citizens and go to Dortmund.
Looking at the options it’s a tough decision for Sancho. He’d arguably have a better time at Chelsea with his friends and they’re building a squad to compete for trophies again. However the style of play that Ole Gunnar Solskjær is implementing at Old Trafford suits him more. The quick transition play is something that Dortmund are so good at and has helped Sancho achieve 17 goals and 16 assists in the league this season. Ultimately, both sides are on their way up the football pyramid once again and the race for the Champions League spots could be the deciding factor on where Jadon Sancho ends up next season.