Jadon Sancho transfer battle will prove football won’t stop going money mad

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Having served a long stretch in the nick for evading £25million in taxes, Uli Hoeness is probably not the go-to guy for wise financial discussion.

But the former Bayern Munich president is certainly not alone when he says he simply cannot envisage transfer fees of 100million euros whenever player trading resumes.

There is a widespread feeling football will simply have to scale its lavish spending back, prices for players will plummet and gargantuan wages will be drastically trimmed.

There are sound reasons for this thinking. Clubs will have taken a huge financial hit from the coronavirus crisis, commercial deals will be tougher to negotiate because sponsors will have also suffered, and there might be penalties in TV deals as so much football will have been lost.

And, morally, it will just not feel right. There will be a new reality for football to face, a lot say.

There will be a bidding war for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho this summer
(Image: Getty Images)

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Let’s face it, though, it will probably be a new reality for football to ignore.

The global appetite for the game – particularly for the elite, glamorous game – will never have been greater.

The quest to cash in on that appetite, led by the commercial club giants of Europe, will never have been greater.

The same big operations in Manchester, London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Turin and Munich will go back to fighting for the limited amount of blue-chip talent.

That will be the reality and that is why transfer fees for the most-prized talents will still be enormous, rest assured.

If Ed Woodward and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can land Sancho it will be the biggest coup of their time working together
(Image: Manchester United via Getty Imag)

That is why it will take at least 100m euros to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

There will be a multi-cornered scrap for Sancho and, right now, the signs are that Manchester United look the strongest in that fight.

Saturday marks the anniversary of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent appointment, and if Ed Woodward and the United manager can persuade Sancho to join, it will be the biggest coup of their relatively short time working in harness.

Their signings so far have been very decent. But when push came to shove in the cases of Daniel James, Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and even Bruno Fernandes, United were pretty much in a one-horse race for their signatures.

The Sancho pursuit will be different. There is probably not a single member of Europe’s elite that would not take him. He is that good.

Sancho could be United's most significant signing since Wayne Rooney
(Image: AFP/Getty Images)

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There has been the odd indiscretion at Dortmund that could suggest he might not be straightforward to manage but nothing of any serious note.

His statistics reflect the impact he has had at Dortmund. Across 84 appearances in the Bundesliga and Champions League, Sancho – who turned 20 on Wednesday – has 30 goals and 40 assists.

On the international stage, he has four assists and two goals in 11 appearances.

Sancho’s recruitment would be a huge coup for United, possibly their most significant signing since an 18-year-old Wayne Rooney joined the club in 2004.

Significant for two particular reasons.

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Because it would show how United, despite all the misgivings about Woodward’s stewardship, remain a huge, deeply magnetic draw.

And because it would show one of the brightest talents of his generation believes in Solskjaer and his vision for a great club.

Whatever the post-crisis price-tag, that would be worth the fee alone.

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