Sancho the priority as Man Utd cool Grealish interest
Jack Grealish’s price too high after Villa’s survival, with Jadon Sancho deemed a better fit for United’s starting XI
By Dharmesh Sheth, Rob Dorsett and James Cooper
Last Updated: 28/07/20 5:57pm
Manchester United are working hard with Borussia Dortmund to find a solution for the transfer of Jadon Sancho, after cooling interest in Jack Grealish.
Discussions for Sancho centre around the transfer fee and structure of payments.
It is believed Dortmund want a deal sorted by August 10 when the club return for pre-season training in order to give them time to find a replacement.
Dortmund are holding out for €120m (£109m) for the 20-year-old England international winger but United are unwilling to go that high given the financial hit that they, and many others, have taken during the pandemic.
There has been no bid from United as yet, but they are the only club to have made official contact with Dortmund.
Sancho’s contract runs out in 2022 and Dortmund are relaxed about his situation.
If they do not get what they feel he is worth, they will keep him and happily wait until next summer to sell – albeit for a lower price.
United are looking at alternatives, notably Kingsley Coman on loan from Bayern Munich, but their chances of convincing Sancho to come to Old Trafford will have been enhanced by them qualifying for the Champions League.
United unlikely to sign Grealish after Villa survival
It now looks unlikely United will try to sign Grealish in this transfer window, even though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a big admirer of the Aston Villa captain.
Premier League survival means the cost for any club wanting to buy Grealish from Villa has increased significantly.
Villa’s bosses were bracing themselves for a flurry of offers if they had been relegated, and it is clear Grealish himself would have – albeit with a heavy heart – pushed for a move out of his boyhood club, so that he could remain playing at the top level.
That, inevitably, would have forced down the asking price for Grealish’s signature.
Now, it is thought it would take an offer in excess of £80m to tempt Villa’s bosses to the negotiating table.
There are doubts at Old Trafford about how Grealish would fit into the current Manchester United side.
The arrival, and outstanding form, of £68m-signing Bruno Fernandes means there is little room for another, expensive, attacking midfield player.
A first-choice front three of Marcus Rashford, Martial and Mason Greenwood would make it difficult to fit Grealish into United’s starting XI.
With such concerns, it is thought chief executive Ed Woodward would be reluctant to sanction a big-money offer.
That may mean that 24-year-old Grealish is set for another season, at least, at Villa Park.
United – with their financial firepower reinforced by winning a place in next season’s Champions League – were one of the few clubs that could afford Villa’s asking price.
There are no signs yet of any other major European club making an approach for Grealish.
United’s focus has turned to Sancho who, as an out-and-out winger, they feel better fits their squad.
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