Manchester United will push ahead with their move to sign Jadon Sancho after confirming their place in next season’s Champions League, sources have told ESPN.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side won 2-0 at Leicester on the final day to earn a third-place finish, and Solskjaer has already made his case to club chiefs to strengthen the squad ahead of campaigns in the Premier League and in Europe next season.
Sancho remains United’s top summer target, and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and chief negotiator Matt Judge will now set about agreeing a fee with Borussia Dortmund.
The Bundesliga side have so far stuck rigidly to their valuation of £118 million but United are hopeful of reaching a compromise of £80m plus a series of achievable add-ons.
Sancho has two years left on the contract he signed in October 2018, and Dortmund are under no pressure to sell. However, they have been made aware by the 20-year-old’s representatives that he would like to pursue a new challenge and is keen to move to Old Trafford.
Liverpool and Real Madrid have both shown tentative interest, but sources have told ESPN that they are not in a position to bid this summer.
Chelsea have privately ruled out a move after signing Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. Bayern Munich have already strengthened their forward line with Leroy Sane.
Former club Manchester City have the right to match any bid accepted by Dortmund but do not have a buy-back clause.
It leaves United as the front-runners to sign Sancho if they can agree on a fee. Solskjaer’s transfer budget will be improved after qualifying for the Champions League, and significant funds will be available despite the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman is on United’s list of alternatives if they cannot secure a deal for Sancho, sources told ESPN on Sunday.