Since making the decision to leave England in search of first-team football - a rare move for a British player, let alone a 17-year-old - Jadon Sancho has never looked back.
Sancho became the first Englishman to play for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, the first player born in the 2000s to score a brace and to score in the Champions League for the club. He has gone on to break Lukas Podolski’s record, becoming the youngest Bundesliga player to score nine goals, finishing the 2018/19 season with 12 goals and 14 assists and a place in the Bundesliga team of the season. He has continued his upward trajectory with 14 goals and 15 assists in the league this season and should be a shoo-in to the England starting XI at the Euro.
His rise to fame has been so rapid that clubs have been stumbling over each other to express their interest and coax him back to England, however, there are other suitors sniffing around in Europe should he ask for a transfer when the window opens. FFT takes a look at the clubs most interested in signing the young playmaker and whether or not he would suit their style of play...
As with any big player, Manchester United’s name is always thrown into the gossip wheel. However, on this occasion they may be the favourites to prize away one of Europe’s most-sought talents.
The Old Trafford side have had an inconsistent season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but look to have turned a corner of late, winning the Manchester derby and sweeping aside their Europa League opponents. With young stars such as Rashford, Martial, James, McTominay and Wan-Bissaka already impressing this season, Sancho would fit perfectly into Ole’s youthful side supplying pace, power and an end product which United have struggled with at times this year.
According to German newspaper Bild, Dortmund will likely not accept anything under £121m, which would make Sancho a club-record signing.
United are not immune to forking out large amounts of money in recent seasons as they aim to recreate the glory days they enjoyed under Sir Alex Ferguson. Sancho coming in would be undoubtedly a fantastic addition to a team looking to challenge for titles next season, however, it will provide a selection headache for Ole. Coming in off the left as his preferred position, the manager may have to reshuffle his deck, with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Daniel James the current first-choice front three.
Another team with cash to spend and a manager keen to bleed in youth are Chelsea. After appealing a transfer embargo, it didn’t take long for Roman Abramovich to get his chequebook out and sign Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech ahead of the 2020/21 season. Flexible as a winger or at No.10, Ziyech could dovetail nicely with Sancho on the opposite side. With Abraham through the middle and Mason Mount cementing his position at No.10, Lampard will be licking his lips at the prospect of adding the Englishman to his attacking artillery.
Rumours are that Sancho won’t move to a club without a Champions League place, and so Chelsea may have the upper hand right now, looking the likeliest out of United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Wolves to get a coveted European place.
John Barnes recently warned the extraordinary young talent against coming to his old side, hinting that he may have to spend time on the bench should he move. Barnes has a point. With Salah and Mané sure to go down in Liverpool club folklore, there is exceedingly little chance that anyone could displace either winger. Despite this, there have been rumours that Mané could be heading off to the sun with Spanish giants Real Madrid interested in the Senegalese forward.
Unless this happens, it seems unlikely that Sancho would make a move to Liverpool. Nevertheless, Liverpool have a tremendous pull currently on European talent, not to mention Klopp’s links with his former club Dortmund. It seems unlikely that the manager would want to break up his record-breaking squad by replacing one of his star players. However, stranger things have happened in football and it may be the case that Liverpool are worried more about any of their competitors getting their hands on Sancho.
It is not only clubs in England battling for Sancho’s signature, but the giants of Europe have had a very keen eye on the youngster and are circling with their fat wallets and promise of sunshine.
The Catalan side continuously challenge for all titles and need no introduction. Every player’s dream would be to play alongside Messi as he comes toward the end of his career still producing moments of magic. Boasting some of Europe’s top talents, Sancho would slot in at left-wing – as former Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembélé has struggled with injuries during his time at Barcelona. Lining up alongside Messi and Suarez, Sancho could not ask for a better place to develop his craft. However, Barcelona may be keen to make use of the €105m winger, therefore may see no use for Sancho in their side.
Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that any club will pay Dembélé’s excessive €400m buyout clause for an injury-prone forward. Therefore, the Catalan side may lose out to England’s admirers.
Our final tip to sign the youngster and probably the least likely are Dortmund’s nemesis Bayern Munich. The Bavarian side are not averse to poaching talent from Borussia Dortmund, in recent years taking Hummels, Götze and Lewandowski from their rivals in an attempt to thwart their challenge to Munich’s dominance. Yet again, they are after Dortmund’s prized possession, easily able to afford the hefty price-tag attached. Furthermore, although having spent time developing Gnabry on the left-wing, Bayern would happily indulge in adding the Englishman to their ranks to not only boost their own attack but limit that of their annoying adversaries.
However, it remains unlikely that BVB would let Sancho move across the country and help them to win yet more league titles, Munich having won the last seven. You can be sure that if they did try to lure him away, Dortmund would up their asking price.
On the other hand, Sancho may be keen to stay in Germany having settled in the country, and would be assured of more titles at the dominant Bavarian side.
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