No summer transfer window would be complete without a long-running transfer-saga involving Manchester United, with the club’s well-documented pursuit of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho a story unlikely to go away any time soon.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made the sublimely talented youngster his number one target ahead of the summer transfer window, and it seems as though Manchester United are unconcerned by the uncertainty surrounding football’s finances at present, with the club ready to splash the cash to bring the 20-year-old to Old Trafford.
As the world remains in the grips of a global pandemic, the Premier League giants are lay in waiting as the transfer market’s proverbial big bad wolf, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitting this week that the club could ruthlessly capitalise on those less financially fortunate and ‘exploit’ any opportunities to strengthen.
The coronavirus crisis means a great deal of uncertainty remains within football, including how the continued suspension of the game will impact finances, though there remains a widespread expectation that a transfer market that had seemed to be on a never-ending upward curve, is finally likely to drop this summer.
A report in The Athletic, however, points out that Manchester United are in fact in ‘a good position’ to take advantage of the market this summer, even in spite of their £391 million of outstanding debt.
Many top-flight clubs have become overly reliant on the huge sums received from the Premier League’s TV deals – funds which are now under threat due to the coronavirus crisis. However, at Old Trafford, television money only represents 42 per cent turnover, the fourth-lowest amount in the division behind the three promoted clubs, who all had much lower broadcast income last season in the Championship.
The report suggests that United’s financial advantage could come when dealing with clubs ‘experiencing cash-flow issues’, United being able to offer ‘larger up-front payments’ for players in order to get them at a lesser overall cost, a deal which would alleviate short-term ‘financial concerns’ at selling clubs, the likes of Jack Grealish at Aston Villa immediately springing to mind.
One club who will not be desperate to sell however is Borussia Dortmund, who, despite being willing to let Jadon Sancho leave, have already admitted that they certainly won’t be letting their prized asset go cheaply.
There is a growing acceptance that the England international will depart the Bundesliga side and this summer has been mooted for a potential sale – The Athletic report saying Sancho is ‘very open’ to a move to Old Trafford.