Premier League English

The Jadon Sancho-Erik ten Hag imbroglio not as straightforward as it may seem

It looks like Man Utd’s change of ownership could give Jadon Sancho an unexpected reprieve in the form of a most unlikely lifeline to transform his fortunes.

The last time Jadon Sancho played for Manchester United the summer transfer window was still open then. Now the dislodged star will have to wait until the January window to see if he has any hopes of kicking a ball in the Premier League again anytime in the immediate future.

Sancho’s situation has not changed a bit since being adamant in his refusal to tender an official apology to Erik ten Hag for disputing the reasons he was dropped for the match against Arsenal earlier.

Should the situation persist any longer, the more likely it is that Sancho will have to move on although this is easier said than done.

Juventus and Borussia Dortmund are both said to be keen on an initial loan move for the 23-year-old although his huge price-tag is proving a problem. United will certainly not accept a cut-price sale just to release Sancho, which could effectively rule out a move to Europe midway through a season dictated by limited budgets and excessive wage demands.

As such, United would likely be required to make a wage contribution to Juventus or Dortmund to sweeten the deal in making Sancho affordable and hopefully pursue a loan with an option to buy rather than a guaranteed future fee. This would probably be the best short-term solution for the player, albeit not one that would be in the best interest of the Old Trafford club, which invested £73 million in him just a little over two years ago.

Alternatively, a move to the Saudi Pro League could be the next most likely destination, though fresh doubts have recently surfaced over that amid recent comments made by SPL director of football Michael Emenalo, who insists they will only target players of the ‘highest level’ to join their league.

“Whatever additional improvement that we need to do for any club, with time on our hands and preparation, we believe will be additions of the highest level,” Emenalo said in an interview with the SPL.

Saudi clubs are insistent on signing only the best players in world football and there are now doubts regarding Sancho’s suitability as one of the most marketable and exciting players available.

However, the menacing storm clouds hovering above the former Borussia Dortmund star could soon be blown away by a benign wind that comes in the guise of the takeover situation that should soon announce Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s arrival at the club to signal a new sporting direction and, with it, a refresh new analysis of Sancho’s messy situation.

Ratcliffe and his team could likely be the ones making the ultimate decision on the fate of the £73-million star as whether it would make more sense to cut either him or the manager loose, or maybe even toss both out.

As it stands, Ten Hag was supported by John Murtough – now heavily rumored to be the next target to leave Old Trafford after CEO Richard Arnold – in the Dutchman’s decision to exclude Sancho until a formal apology is delivered, but the manager may not have the same support anymore should Murtough be shown the exit as expected.

The brouhaha affecting the top level management situation could well impact the imbroglio surrounding Sancho.

A realignment of ownership at Manchester United could well turn things in favor of the star winger once again.