Manchester United will let Jadon Sancho decide his squad number as Ed Woodward continues to negotiate with Borussia Dortmund, reports say. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made it clear he wants the 20-year-old signed this transfer window. But any deal won’t come cheap, with Dortmund only willing to let him go if their sizeable £108million asking price is met.
Manchester United have admired Sancho for a number of years, with the club first attempting to sign the England international back in 2017.
He was given a tour of the club’s Carrington training complex but, despite that, opted to leave Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund instead.
In the time since Sancho has established himself as one of the best forwards on the planet, scoring 17 goals and 17 assists from 34 Bundesliga appearances this season.
And the Manchester Evening News say United will allow him to pick his squad number.
For a while now it’s been reported that he’ll take the No 7 shirt, which is currently vacant.
Alexis Sanchez was the last wearer of the jersey but he’s not expected to return to his parent club, having spent the season on loan at Serie A giants Inter Milan.
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It’s a big deal at Old Trafford having been worn by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Eric Cantona and George Best throughout their successful spells at the Theatre of Dreams.
However, in the years since Ronaldo left, players have struggled with the number on their back.
Angel Di Maria, Memphis Depay and Sanchez are among three who have toiled under the burden of expectation.
And another shirt number Sancho could take at United is the No 11.
That was the jersey worn by Ryan Giggs during his time at the club but, since the Wales international’s retirement, it’s proven tough to fill.
Adnan Januzaj had it for a couple of years but the Belgium international, despite his early promise, never realised his potential at Old Trafford.
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And Anthony Martial gave it up back in the summer in favour of taking his old No 9 shirt, which he lost to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2016.
United chief Woodward remains locked in negotiations with Dortmund for Sancho and wants to strike a deal on the cheap due to the coronavirus crisis.
But Dortmund have repeatedly stressed they won’t be bullied into letting the England international depart for anything less than their £108m asking price.
Meanwhile, United legend Giggs has urged the club to sign Sancho and Grealish – believing they’re both capable of making a big impact at the club.
“Two good players,” he said.
“I think the thing with Grealish is he’s obviously used to the Premier League and doesn’t need to adapt to it so that’s good.
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“For me from the outside, it looks like he’s got the mentality to come to this place and not bother him. Certain players can get overawed.
“Also, the good thing this year is he’s got ten goals and got into double figures so that would be one question mark I would have had with him: does he score enough goals? To get to double figures with no penalties for Villa is impressive.
“Sancho is quick, direct but also an intelligent player.
“What I like about him is when he gets into them areas with the final ball, he doesn’t panic. A lot of quick wide players sometimes do but he picks out the right pass.
“He’s someone who can counter-attack if we’re going to play that but also if a team are going to sit back, he can beat players and make things happen.
“They are two signings that may be available and if we’re able to get them, I would go and get them.”
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