Jadon Sancho has chosen Manchester United as his next club and Chelsea have given up hope of signing him, according to Spanish outlet Sport.
The Blues were believed to be United’s main rivals for the 20-year-old, who has scored 17 goals and provided 19 assists for Borussia Dortmund this season.
Manager Frank Lampard was believed to be prepared to go head-to-head with United in the pursuit of Sancho’s signature.
The Catalan paper claims that ‘Lampard had asked [Roman] Abramovich to prioritize the incorporation of the young Borussia Dortmund striker before looking at other investments.’
‘However, despite the €120 million (£110 million) he had put on the negotiating table, Manchester United have been faster this time.’
‘Sancho has opted for Old Trafford, according to all the information released this past week, and Lampard has no choice but to change his strategy.’
The report goes on to say that Chelsea have turned his attentions to Barcelona and former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho instead, who is deemed surplus to requirements at the Neucamp.
If true, it would certainly seem to leave United with a clear run at Sancho, with The Mirror having reported last week that Liverpool were also out of the race.
The outlet claimed that ‘[Sancho] has never been an active target for the Reds, and the Anfield club would never have considered any approach, unless they were forced to sell one of their fabled front three.’
‘Sources within the club are adamant they are not involved in discussions at any level, and are actively pursuing other targets who are more realistically valued at less than half the price.’
Manchester City still have first option to buy Sancho by matching any accepted offer, but it seems unlikely that either player or club will want to renew a relationship that ended on a sour note when the England international was sold to Dortmund in 2017.
It is looking more and more likely that the issue the Red Devils will face is whether they can come to an agreement over a transfer fee for the young star, with Dortmund’s CEO Hans Joachim Watzke having already said ‘I’ll state clearly, that no rich club should think that during this existential crisis they can steal players from us. We don’t have to sell anyone for less than they’re worth.’
United’s negotiators Ed Woodward and Matt Judge, on the other hand, will now believe they hold all the aces and may not want to pay the kind of figure that had been touted before the coronavirus crisis impacted football’s finances.
It could be a long summer.
United are hoping to make Jadon Sancho the next player to wear the famous number 7 shirt. But how much do you know about the players who have worn it before? Take our quiz below to find out.