Manchester United have finally accepted defeat in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, with Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembélé their preferred alternative.
The Red Devils made it clear early in the transfer window that they intended to get a deal for Sancho over the line, but Dortmund stood firm on their £108m asking price and publicly informed any suitors that he wouldn’t be sold for any less.
United had hoped to get a deal done for below the £100m mark but were ultimately unable to do so, and The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell now notes that club officials have now hung up the phone and are looking elsewhere.
Dembélé is described as their main focus, with United believed to be keen on bringing the Frenchman over on loan, and Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman left the door open to a move when asked about Dembélé’s future on Sunday.
“At the moment, he’s a Barcelona player,” Koeman said (via Goal). “There’s still one day left for incomings and outgoings. We’ll see.”
Two deals which seem more certain for United are the arrivals of striker Edinson Cavani and left-back Alex Telles. Cavani has agreed to join on a free transfer and is in England to finalise the move, while the Telles deal will set United back around £13.5m, with a further £1.8m in add-ons.
Further new signings have not been ruled out, with a new centre-back suggested as a possibility. RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano is the dream signing, but it’s accepted that signing the Frenchman is easier said than done.
Another new arrival could be Peñarol’s teenage winger Facundo Pellistri, who is understood to have reached an agreement to move to Old Trafford before the window shuts.
Uruguayan outlet Tenfield state that Pellistri successfully passed his medical on Saturday and will be permitted to head over to England once United pay his release clause, which is believed to sit at around the £10m mark.
For some reason, the report really stresses the urgency with which United need to move to get a deal for Pellistri over the line, but there’s no reason to think that the Red Devils won’t get this one done before the deadline.