Exclusive – Manchester United still want to sign a right winger this summer and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho remains their first choice for the position. The Old Trafford club also remain hopeful they can persuade Edinson Cavani to stay for another season.
Right wing has been a problem position for United for a number of seasons, with no specialised option on that flank since Antonio Valencia was repurposed as a full-back. Sancho has been on the radar for several years and has long been identified as the ideal signing to fill the void.
Every club in the world has been affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic and will have to make concessions in the transfer market ahead of next season. But United need to ensure they have enough attacking options to mount serious challenges for trophies and 90min understands they believe their best option is to sign a new winger and have Cavani stay on.
The veteran Uruguayan has been a big hit this season since arriving as a free agent in October, scoring 10 goals so far and being lauded for the example he sets for his younger colleagues.
But Cavani’s future in Manchester beyond this season is uncertain. He has a desire to finish his career in South America and there is strong interest in him from Argentine giants Boca Juniors, although as yet he has not made a decision either way.
United have been confident of signing Sancho since the autumn of 2019. A potential deal last summer was ultimately derailed by their unwillingness to meet Dortmund’s firm valuation in excess of £100m, feeling that paying so much was no longer appropriate in the circumstances.
The Old Trafford club never lost interest in Sancho, have maintained open lines of communication with his representatives and were impressed by the player’s attitude and maturity throughout the saga last summer – he remained respectful towards both sides and didn’t burn any bridges.
90min revealed in January that United are confident the gamble of refusing to meet Dortmund’s asking price will pay off, with officials in Manchester believing the price will fall this year if the Bundesliga side need to make a sale in order to make up for lost revenues.
That is still the case and United believe they could secure a deal for potentially even just half the previous asking price because of the circumstances. The potential issue of Dortmund missing out on Champions League qualification for next season will only hurt their finances and force their hand.
However, United are still keen to ensure they have alternative targets ready to pursue if a deal cannot be done for any reason. In that sense, they continue to make checks on a few others, one of which is Villarreal and Nigeria winger Samuel Chukwueze.