It’s an open secret that Manchester United are hoping to sign Jadon Sancho this transfer window, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer determined to snap him up. That hasn’t stopped the Norwegian and Ed Woodward drawing up a list of alternatives, however. And, out of all the names that have been linked with a move to Old Trafford, Memphis Depay would make the most sense.
If all goes to plan, Manchester United will have Sancho in their squad by the time the transfer window shuts on October 5.
They have tried twice in the past to land the England international but, this time around, they’re hoping it’ll be third time lucky.
United are currently negotiating with Borussia Dortmund, determined to strike a deal for less than the Bundesliga giants’ huge £108million asking price.
But, behind the scenes, they’ve also drawn up a list of alternatives.
Schalke star Rabbi Matondo is on the list with the 19-year-old impressing over in Germany and catching the eye for the Wales national team.
Argentine winger Thiago Almada has also been put on having scored four goals and registered one assist from 22 matches this term.
And Kingsley Coman is also an alternative, with United believing the Bayern Munich star wants to move to Old Trafford if he’s allowed to depart the Allianz Arena.
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In the time since, though, Depay has done well away from the Premier League – establishing himself as one of the best attacking players in Ligue 1.
Injuries have hit the 26-year-old hard this season but he’s still impressed, scoring nine goals and registering two assists from 13 matches.
He was involved in 20 goals from 36 games the previous year, scoring 10 and assisting 10 as well.
And, in his first full season in France, he bagged 19 goals from 36 matches.
United want Sancho because of his goalscoring prowess and creative instincts, believing he can propel the club back to the top of the Premier League.
But Depay would be a worthy alternative. And, what’s more, is that the Red Devils can sign him easily at any point should they choose to.
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It was confirmed by Lyon chief Juninho earlier in the year that United have the priority when it comes to Depay, having inserted a buyback clause into his contract when he left three years ago.
“Manchester [United] has a priority if several clubs line up to buy him,” he said.
“But we have not received any offers so far. He is really happy right now in Lyon. He deserves the armband like others.
“Rudi (Garcia) will soon make his decision. He is a technical leader. We will discuss an extension of contract by the end of the year.”
Matondo, Almada and Coman would all likely set United back financially should they be forced into signing a Sancho alternative.
But Depay would be straightforward and, having flopped at Old Trafford before, would no doubt relish the chance to return and prove his critics wrong.
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