Manchester United will turn their attention to signing a new left-back if their pursuit of Jadon Sancho fails.
That’s according to transfer expert Duncan Castles, who adds that United are also still looking for a centre-back partner for Harry Maguire.
Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho is United’s top target this summer. However, the German giants are refusing to let him go for cheap.
Dortmund want €120m for Sancho, a fee that United are not willing to meet. What’s more, with their pre-season underway, Dortmund are adamant that United have missed their chance to sign Sancho this summer.
That’s because they had set a deadline to resolve his future by the start of this week. United have not been able to meet their requirements in time.
While they won’t give up, the Red Devils may now have to shift their focus. Various reports have suggested a number of alternatives, such as Ousmane Dembele, Douglas Costa or Kingsley Coman. There has also been talk of a swoop for Barcelona’s Ansu Fati.
But according to Castles, instead of looking at another winger, United will actually look to strengthen their defence next.
Speaking on the Transfer Window Podcast, Castles revealed United’s interest in a Monaco defender specifically. That’s despite Sancho still being their priority.
“I’m hearing that United are looking to re-allocate cash into other areas of the team that Ole Gunnar Solskjear wants reinforced and hadn’t been a priority,” he said. “The right-wing is a priority, Sancho is the priority.
“But, they will look to do business in other areas [if they can’t sign Sancho].
“They’d like to sign a centre-back, who they’d do in tandem with Sancho regardless of whether he’s down the left-side of the centre-back.”
United in for Ballo-Toure
“They’re also in the market for a full-back, preferably a left-back as a back-up to Luke Shaw,” Castles added.
“A young, talented player who can be developed into a potential first-choice. They’ve then got the option to move Brandon Williams to right-back as a back-up to Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
“There was an interest in Fode Ballo-Toure, the left-back at Monaco. He’s young, he’s a French under-21 international, he’s played a lot of games for Monaco but he’s not a guaranteed starter for the entire season, so he’s the type of player who can be brought into the squad and would be satisfied working and challenging for a place, rather than the expectation of being a starter every match.
“There’s a shift there in looking at alternative opportunities if Dortmund are true to their word and won’t sell Sancho.
“That’s probably a welcome sign to Manchester United fans, that United are operating in a way where they have a strategy set out for them, should their first-choice deals not be completable this season.”
Ballo-Toure was first linked with United back in May – and it appears he is still on the agenda at Old Trafford.
The 23-year-old made 18 starts in the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season. He remains under contract until 2023.