Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha has given his verdict on the Jadon Sancho dilemma, urging the winger to reject offers from Italy and Saudi Arabia to try and remain in the Premier League – in a move which could leave Erik ten Hag fuming.
Sancho has not played for Man Utd since August 26. Eyebrows were raised when he was left out of the squad for the clash against Arsenal on September 3, and Ten Hag caused a stir when he revealed that Sancho had been omitted from the squad due to his sub-par performances in training.
Sancho did not agree, though, and reacted by putting a post on social media which hit out at Ten Hag’s comments and also complained about the player being a Man Utd ‘scapegoat’ for too long.
That post was then deleted, but the damage had already been done. As Sancho has refused to apologise to his manager, he has been banished from the club’s senior squad.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who will soon purchase a 25 per cent stake in Man Utd, is eager for the pair to resolve their difference, but this looks unlikely.
The most obvious solution is for Man Utd to sell Sancho in January, or at least loan the 23-year-old out with a view to selling him at a later date.
Saudi Pro League chiefs are keen to take him to the Middle East, in what would be their latest transfer coup. However, on Tuesday it emerged that the wide man will reject any offers from Saudi Arabia, as he would rather continue playing at a high level in Europe.
And Italian giants Juventus are the first club to have formally begun negotiations with Man Utd about a January move.
Jadon Sancho has ‘quality’ to shine in England – Louis Saha
Saha, who made 124 appearances for Man Utd between 2004 and 2008, has now attempted to give Sancho some advice. He thinks the England international should do all he can to remain in the Premier League. However, such a move would likely enrage Ten Hag, as the manager will not want a top-six rival such as Tottenham Hotspur or Aston Villa to be strengthened.
“Jadon Sancho can play in any side in the Premier League – he’s got the quality for that,” Saha said in an interview with Paddy Power (via The Sun).
“He needs somewhere where he’ll find the right mentality. Quality-wise he’s a terrific player but his mind is against him.
“His fitness wasn’t right when he arrived at Manchester United, and he had to work really hard to get fit and that didn’t help him.”
If Sancho cannot secure a Premier League move immediately, then Saha has also suggested he heads to a different European league first before returning as an improved player.
“It would be nice to see him fulfil his potential in the Premier League because it’s the best league in the world,” he added.
Saudi Arabia move would be ‘extreme’
“Moving to Saudi Arabia would be a bit extreme, but I can see him playing in Spain or another top league where he can go and enjoy his football before coming back to England when his mind is settled.
“That’s the most likely scenario I can see happening.”
Wherever Sancho goes, it is likely Man Utd will have to take a big financial hit when selling him. They spent a huge £73m to sign him from Borussia Dortmund in summer 2021.
But Sancho has struggled to replicate his excellent Bundesliga form while at Old Trafford, while rival clubs also know that Ten Hag is desperate to get him out of the club. Those factors mean Man Utd will be lucky if they get more than £45m for him.