Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward plans to offload up to five unwanted stars this summer to help fund Jadon Sancho’s club record signing.
Sancho has been heavily linked with a return to England in recent months. The former Manchester City youngster has scored 20 times and produced 18 assists this season with Borussia Dortmund.
Dortmund though want to keep Sancho for at least another season but are taking a tough stance on his future. What’s more, they’re said to have placed a £115million price tag on the attacker’s head.
But Dortmund continue to hold firm and insist the player won’t be leaving unless their asking price is met.
Nonetheless, United seemingly remain determined to land their man.
According to the Sunday Express, Sancho remains top of United’s summer shopping list. But the club are looking at ways in which they can finance the deal first to ease that financial burden. As per the report, Woodward plans to do this by offloading a plethora of unwanted players first.
First out the door is likely to be Jesse Lingard. The England man has fallen down the pecking order under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and it’s reported they are seeking a reduced fee of around £20m for the player. Everton and Arsenal have been linked. But the appointment of Mino Raiola as his agent raises the prospect of a lucrative move abroad too.
Woodward also wants to move on unwanted defenders Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and possibly Phil Jones too. Rojo and Smalling both spent periods of time on loan this season and look likely to make their stays permanent.
United are said to be seeking £10m for Rojo, though can realisitically expect to get around half that amount. Smalling does look likely to move to Roma on a permanent and it’s claimed that will go through on another season’s loan worth £5m with a view to a permanent £15m transfer in summer 2021.
United’s biggest piece of business in terms of outgoings, however, could be Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean, having spent the season with Inter Milan, has proved an expensive flop for United.
His £400,000 a week deal is a real bind to the Red Devils. It’s reported they could sanction another loan for the player, or even allow him to leave for a small fee in order to rid them off the huge financial burden.
The departure of all five stars may only raise United up to £60m. But the freedom gained by offloading Sanchez would, it’s claimed, convince Woodward to move for Sancho.
Solskjaer takes cautious view over transfers
Solskjaer was giving little away when he spoke about United’s transfer plans this summer during Friday’s press conference.
He did, however, admit their finances could be impacted, backing up the report that sales may be needed first.
“I think the pandemic has hit everyone really hard,” he said when asked about his budget.
“I still think we need to wait and see how things are panning out. We need to know what kind of financial state we are in.
“You see some teams invest, some teams don’t. We’ll have to take a big look at things ourselves to see how hard we’ve been hit.
“I know the club has announced a few numbers before. But it’s not right for me here now to say, ‘we are going to have X amount’ because I don’t really know. We don’t really know how hard we’ve been hit.
“We are financially a strong club – but we are also probably being hit more than anyone else.”
Jack Grealish, meanwhile, looks to be increasingly closer to a summer transfer to United, after two big decisions were made. Read more here.