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Failure to capture €130m Sancho would be calamitous for Man United


Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho

Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho

Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho

JADON SANCHO's figures are frightening. Which is why Manchester United have not been scared off by the €130million that it will take to get him.

Indeed, the only thing that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward should be worried about is that he is wrong, along with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, in the belief that he will become an Old Trafford player this summer.

United have already lost one dazzling youngster in Erling Haaland, who chose Sancho's current club Borussia Dortmund over them in January.

To now fail to capture the former Watford and Manchester City player would be nothing short of a calamity.

Every quiet word coming out of the Theatre of Dreams is that Sancho has already unofficially confirmed he will move back to Manchester – but the red side.

Chelsea love him and growing up in south London Sancho was a big fan of Frank Lampard.

Liverpool would have the winger in a flash but for that huge price tag, which FSG consider too much given the fact that Mo Salah and Sadio Mane already happen to be there.

City – who saw him leave acrimoniously back in 2017 because Pep Guardiola would not guarantee the then 17-year-old game time – have first option.

He has no intention of returning to the Etihad where, again, there happens to be Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez with Leroy Sane preparing to return home – very possibly as Sancho's replacement.

But as part of the deal that saw Sancho leave for Dortmund for £8m City will get 15 per cent of the sell-on fee.

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Sancho has even been promised United's famous No 7 shirt and the belief is that, even if they don't make next season's Champions League, he will still sign on .

Apart from anything else, he will be looking at a pay deal that will see him earn £400,000 a week should he keep improving over the next two seasons.

And the chances that he will be paid that vast fortune look like a dead cert, given the numbers that he has already stacked up.

For they suggest that he is on track to be one of the best of his generation. If not the best.

To see why, examine his output which currently is on a steeper curve than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who, of course, made himself a superstar at Old Trafford between 2003 and '09.

Sancho turned 20 last week and so far in his senior career he has scored 31 goals and provided 42 assists in 90 games.

At the same age, Ronaldo had 16 goals and 16 assists in 107 appearances.

Messi had managed 26 goals and just eight assists by the time he turned 20.

Not only that he is the first teenager ever to score 25 goals in the Bundesliga, having broken a record of 24 held by Horst Koppel set in 1972.

That 25th, which came against Union Berlin, came in just 64 games.

Sancho also happens to be the first player born this millennium to have started a game for the England senior side – which he did in November last year.

Sancho had some disciplinary problems before he left England – and having been left out of the club tour to the USA in 2017, all but went missing before moving to Germany.

At Dortmund there were initial concerns over his reliability and at the start of this season there was talk of action being taken against him for poor time-keeping.

Yet he has matured quickly and Solskjaer is convinced he will fit in perfectly to the new culture he has created within his squad.

Sancho also happens to be close to Marcus Rashford, who himself has matured over the past three years, to the point that before he was sidelined due to back issues in January he had developed into an articulate and inspirational spokesman.

Solskjaer has listened to his star striker who is understood to have told him that Sancho is decent, dependable and very much likes the idea of what the manager has been putting together.

The Norwegian yesterday celebrated the first anniversary of penning the three-year contract awarded to him by Woodward.


Bruno Fernandes is having a positive impact at Old Trafford

Bruno Fernandes is having a positive impact at Old Trafford

Bruno Fernandes is having a positive impact at Old Trafford

Since then he has bought in Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Dan James and, most importantly, Bruno Fernandes in January before the loan arrival of Odion Ighalo.

United were 11 games unbeaten before the coronavirus lockdown.

The inspiration of the feisty Fernandes has become the glue that has locked in that new spirit and attacking style that Solskjaer has been banging on about ever since he officially became the fourth manager since Alex Ferguson charged with turning around the club's fortunes.

Yet he has also repeatedly said that he needs more attacking options. Ighalo has helped in that respect, having scored four goals in eight games and is desperate to remain.

His Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua are now offering him a £400,000-per-year package to commit his future to them – or they would take a transfer fee of £15m to sell him.

As a 30-year-old his age does not fit into United's age profile but as another who has shown himself to be a Solskjaer culture vulture, there is every possibility his deal could become permanent.

But it is Sancho – who also wears the No 7 at Dortmund – who is seen by the manager and Woodward as the man who can become the diamond point of the new United of next season.

Paul Pogba had that chance but will now be sold to the highest bidder, unless there is a major change of heart within the club's hierarchy.

Fernandes is now, unofficially, the new playmaker and Sancho is very much somebody Solskjaer can play along with Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.

The possibilities are endless when Sancho is factored in. And those numbers of his are why – whatever figure Dortmund ask for him, even the €130m that is currently being touted – he might just be very much worth it.

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