Manchester United are currently fearful when it comes to signing Jadon Sancho. Not of Chelsea, Real Madrid and PSG – who are all keen on the Borussia Dortmund star. But of how paying a big fee for the 20-year-old would look during a time where the coronavirus crisis is impacting the planet. And United could now turn to Douglas Costa, who was wanted by Jose Mourinho during his spell in charge at Old Trafford.
Manchester United have acted well throughout the whole coronavirus crisis.
They’ve made a series of different donations to hospitals, paid tribute to the NHS by spelling out their letters outside Old Trafford and also have a fleet of 16 vehicles on hand to help the emergency services if needed.
United, in contrast to the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle, also never entertained the possibility of placing staff on furlough.
Instead, they’re paying their staff full whack throughout this time. Ed Woodward, conscious of the club’s reputation, has done everything to boost it.
And United now feel that paying over the odds for Sancho would look bad. Not just within the footballing world, but the wider community in general.
As things stand a transfer can’t be entirely ruled out. But it’s looking more remote by the day, with Dortmund even now confident they can keep their star asset for another year.
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But United have long had an interest in the player.
Sir Alex Ferguson kept tabs on Costa as a teenager while he was playing in Brazil with Gremio. While the Scot was curious, he never really showed concrete interest in the Samba star.
But things were different under Mourinho.
He wanted a right winger in his final summer in charge of the Red Devils and Costa was placed on a transfer shortlist alongside Willian and Ivan Perisic.
Willian was always his No 1 target, with the Brazil international working under Mourinho with great success at Chelsea.
But Chelsea were never going to let the winger reunite with Mourinho at Old Trafford, having controversially sold Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic to United in the years previously.
It was then that Mourinho tracked Costa.
However, in the end, United couldn’t get him in the door on that occasion. They chose to focus on signing a centre-back instead but didn’t get one of those, either.
United could go back in for Costa if he’s offered to them in return for Pogba. He’s always had admirers at Old Trafford and now could be the time to strike.
He’s certainly not played at the same high level as Sancho over the past year.
But, on his day, the Brazil international can be a top player. And, given United’s past interest, a move to Old Trafford is possible this summer.