The Borussia Dortmund winger’s involvement in the current European Championship should prevent a piano from being moved to the center circle for any flashy reveal, but as long as it hits the right notes on the pitch, fans of United don’t care.
Sancho will come to Old Trafford as an undeniable talent, even amid England’s omissions under Gareth Southgate, but for many supporters he will still be seen as a luxury bonus buy rather than the essential that needs to be added this summer.
United’s priority at the end of last season was to make every effort for a new center-back, and that still remains the case even though Sancho is a welcome distraction from the defensive boost.
Sir Alex Ferguson said ‘Attack wins you games, defense wins you titles’, a timely reminder that the addition of Sancho alone may not be enough to turn this current squad into Premier winners. League in a year.
Instead, it’s the addition of a new center-back that could bring the biggest boost to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s hopes of winning silverware next season, the only question now is who is that? could be.
MEN Sport reported earlier in the week that a decision for Raphael Varane “is slowly progressing” as United aim to sign a center-back this summer.
The club have previously tried to sign Varane, 28, as part of a £ 50million package deal that was pushed back by Madrid, who are waiting for £ 80million even though Varane is out of contract for the year next.
Villarreal defender Pau Torres is another very open option at the club that might be easier to recruit given his much lower salary demands and the fact that he has a release clause in his current deal.
The two would add different things to United’s defense; Varane offering perhaps the biggest immediate impact, while Torres would offer longevity and an investment in a center-back who has the ceiling of eventually becoming world-class.
There’s a lot to think about, although perhaps the most pressing issue is funding any movement without the help of player sales.
Even in a more stable financial climate United have never surpassed a net spending of £ 150million on permanent new additions through a single window, they may well have to if they want to sign a new winger and defender – not to mention the others.
This means player sales will be crucial over the next few weeks if United are to continue building their squad with high-profile goals rather than cheaper save options.
Figures like Anthony Martial, Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard and Diogo Dalot could all raise valuable funds this window through permanent departures, while Donny van de Beek could also free up salaries if allowed to leave on loan.
United will also have to make a firm decision on their goalkeeper position with either David de Gea or Dean Henderson a possibility to leave this summer rather than spend another season in limbo.
There is also room for the center-back with Axel Tuanzebe set to leave the club while Phil Jones continues to occupy a redundant role at Carrington.
It will be easier to move some players than move others, but it is crucial that United make up for the arrivals this summer by reducing the fat of a team that has already grown bloated.