Harry Kane’s reported availability points Manchester United to a fork in the road in the transfer market this summer.
Are United staying on the current path toward a likely move for Jadon Sancho? Or is the club changing course and chasing after Kane?
With both players costing enormous fees, there is certainly no way to sign both, so United will have to choose between the two.
In theory, it might be possible to land both players. But it would take real ruthlessness, ambition, and sacrifice to do so.
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What could be done
Based on Sancho’s estimated prices of £ 80m and Kane, which are around £ 120m, United would have to find £ 200m to land both. Maybe that’s not enough.
United’s transfer budget is expected to be around £ 80m this summer before the players are sold. So United would essentially have to fund the Kane move from the departures. This is when United needs to get aggressive.
United can sell fringe players like Jesse Lingard (£ 20m), Diogo Dalot (£ 10m), Andreas Pereira (£ 10m) and possibly Brandon Williams (£ 10m) as well.
That’s £ 50 million right there. Then it would be time to win one of the goalkeepers, either Dean Henderson or David de Gea, depending on United’s preference. Possibly another £ 40 million can be raised.
Then it would be time to go tough and say goodbye to Anthony Martial, get him out on the market and win £ 30 million back.
These disposals would bring in the £ 120 million that may be needed to fund the Kane deal. United could try to sell Nemanja Matic for an additional £ 10m if needed.
The Telegraph report could cost Kane as much as £ 150m, meaning United would have to make another sacrifice by selling Donny van de Beek on top of those other departures to add up to the finances.
Don’t bet on it
It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, United is far from efficient in the transfer market and this type of transfer business is easy to write off but far from easy to wind up.
Last season, United struggled to sell and buy players and couldn’t even close a deal for Sancho, let alone Sancho and Kane.
Selling six or seven players seems logical, but it’s not always easy. United wanted to sell Lingard and Pereira last summer but had to be content with loans.
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The bigger problem for United is that those moves would take some of the depth out of the squad and leave them unbalanced.
A new center-back is needed along with a defensive midfielder. Possibly a new right-back. There will be no money for these additions if United blows everything on Sancho and Kane.
Maybe it’s worth it, but United can do a lot more by landing Sancho and then distributing the rest of the money from the players’ sales.
A more ruthless club may take the plan outlined above and move on with it, but it’s not really United’s style, not under the glasses.
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