Manchester United's need to make key signings in other positions may force long-term target Jadon Sancho down their shopping list this summer.
United spent the entirety of 2020 pursuing Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho, gambling that Dortmund were bluffing with their public deadline for the Red Devils to make a suitable bid and ultimately being left with egg on their face.
Sources have previously confirmed to 90min that United are still interested in getting a deal for Sancho over the line, and that remains the case. But The Athletic note that club officials no longer see the winger as the primary target.
Instead, United have been hugely impressed with the continued development of Mason Greenwood, whose good form was recently rewarded with a new long-term contract, while youngsters Amad Diallo and Shola Shoretire are flirting with breakthroughs into the first team.
While United have not ruled out a move for Sancho and would still hope to be involved in discussions about his future, the Red Devils believe investing in a new centre-back and striker is of increasing importance - defensive midfield is also an area of concern.
“We’ve got a plan to become a very successful Man Utd team – and a team that top players want to play for," manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently confessed (via The Mirror). "I can’t say anything about individuals. But we’ve got the backing. The owners keep backing the club and myself and hopefully, we can improve the team.”
However, despite Solskjaer's confidence, it is thought that United are keen to avoid a mass spending spree and would instead prefer to complement one significant buy with several smaller purchases.
That means that, if United chose to splash out on a new centre-back like Sevilla's Jules Kounde, they may have to settle for more of a budget option in attack. Likewise, if someone like Dortmund striker Erling Haaland came through the door, United would pinch pennies at the back.
The pursuit of Sancho has taken a back seat as a result, but club officials have refused to rule out pursuing a move if the right deal arises.
United are confident that Sancho's asking price will drop below the £108m which Dortmund wanted last summer, while the German side's negotiating stance may be weakened if they miss out on Champions League qualification.