It was reported that United were contemplating ending Coutinho’s Barcelona nightmare by signing him for £100m this summer. But The Independent now report that United ‘do not feel they need to prioritise his position’.
This is despite Barcelona ‘intermediaries’ directly contacting the Premier League club, whose response was that Jadon Sancho is rather more adept at tickling their fancy. To that end, United ‘will press ahead with a move’ for the Borussia Dortmund winger as they ‘want players further forward’.
Sancho ‘fits the profile’ at just 18 with top-flight and Champions League experience as a homegrown player. Dortmund want to keep him until at least 2020 – and feel Sancho acknowledges staying another season would ‘benefit’ him – but United will test the waters with an £80m bid in the summer.
Perhaps we are guilty of putting two and two together before coming up with 427. But The Sun say Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will ‘hold off splashing out £80million on a centre-back’ when the window re-opens. So precisely what they’ve set aside for Sancho, then?
The United interim boss apparently ‘wants to give his defenders a chance to prove themselves’, which you would think had been afforded to them since he took over in December. But his change of transfer ‘priority’ – they also say Sancho is the main target – has seen plans to sign a centre-half shelved.
United ‘hope the Norwegian’s coaching could save them from breaking the world-record for a defender in the summer’. Which is bad news for Kalidou Koulibaly, Harry Maguire and friends.
LIVIN’ LA VIDA LOCA
The Daily Mirror tell us that Newcastle and Southampton are both after ‘the new Dele Alli’. The old Dele Alli is still only 22; can’t we let him be for a bit?
Recoe Martin is the player given such huge shoes to fill, with Norwich also interested in the 18-year-old. He is yet to even sign a professional contract with MK Dons, so could leave for compensation.
He apparently scored five goals in 17 minutes a 5-2 win for the League Two club’s under-18 side last week. He’ll be in the Bundesliga soon enough.
AND THE REST
Chelsea are concerned there is nothing they can do to stop Belgian forward Eden Hazard leaving the club for Real Madrid. The Blues are expected to ask for at least £100m to sell the 28-year-old… Real Madrid are targeting Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen, and Spurs may be forced to sell the 27-year-old Denmark international unless he extends his present deal beyond summer 2020… West Ham will make another approach for Celta Vigo forward Maxi Gomez. The Premier League side had an approach for the Uruguayan, 22, turned down in January… Newcastle United scouts have been watching Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo, 19, as the club plans for next season… Crystal Palace and Brighton are among the clubs interested in signing Newcastle United’s 31-year-old French midfielder Mo Diame.