Manchester United are considering a move for Ousmane Dembele if they cannot sign Jadon Sancho, according to reports.
United have been pursuing a deal for Sancho all summer, but have missed Dortmund’s deadline for a sale. Even though the transfer window is still open, the German club wanted to resolve Sancho’s future before their pre-season training camp began yesterday.
And despite Sancho being present in the UK over the weekend, the England winger turned up as expected for training with his teammates.
In a further blow for Man Utd, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc confirmed that Sancho’s contract had been extended by a further year, until 2023.
Zorc then told United publicly that their pursuit of the 20-year-old was over. “Jadon Sancho will play with us next season,” he said. “The decision is final.”
That news has left Old Trafford chiefs frustrated and angry at the slow proceedings of negotiations. United were not willing to pay Dortmund’s €120m asking price – and are now angry at the intermediaries involved in the deal.
While they may retain a glimmer of hope of signing him in the future, they will now probably have to move on to other targets.
Dembele was the subject of a high-profile exit from Dortmund himself three years ago. However, injuries have disrupted his progress at Barcelona since his €105m move.
Hence, and with just two years left on his contract, it could be time for Dembele to move on. And United are sounding out a potential move, having held “informal talks”.
Barcelona are “open to offers” for the 23-year-old, and United are considering a loan with an obligation to buy next summer. However, they are yet to make an official offer.
The report notes that Costa is also still on United’s shortlist, as is Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman. They will still keep chasing Sancho, though.
Reports have indicated that Sancho may need to hand in a transfer request to force through a move. Despite this, ESPN say he has “not yet shown any willingness to do so”.
United may take hope from the history behind their alternative target’s move to Barcelona, though. The report adds that Dortmund made a similar statement about Dembele before going on to sell him to Barcelona.
Therefore, they may still have a chance of landing Sancho. But if not, they have three names clearly in mind.