Manchester United are braced for possible mid-season exits of Jadon Sancho and Harry Maguire – but are not guaranteed to splash any cash raised in January. Club sources have repeatedly stressed that January is not a good month to do business and it is expected any funds raised are likely to be banked for the summer rather than risked on unsuitable replacements.
And while the expected arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe who is offering £1.3billion for 25 per cent of the club is set to give the club a boost, ongoing uncertainty over the timing means plans for January remain on hold.
Sancho looks likely to be on his way after directly challenging the authority and integrity of Erik ten Hag following comments about his training ethic. Sancho branded his boss a liar on social media and has ignored the wishes of friends and senior players who have urged him to back down.
With the player sitting stewing in the academy building on £300,000 a week there is little sympathy from the hierarchy at the club and a willingness to take a hit on the £73million they shelled out for him just to get rid.
Borussia Dortmund are weighing up whether to take Sancho back under such terms but the German outfit are wary that the player who tore up the Bundesliga in 114 goal involvements in 137 appearances has declined since leaving them.
In addition United want a guarantee of a sale at the end of the campaign. Maguire’s desire to get regular first-team football ahead of England’s crack at the Euros in Germany next summer has seen West Ham reignite interest from the summer.
For his part, Maguire squashed rumours that there was ever a possibility for him to move to east London with no agreement reached between the clubs. And with Lisandro Martinez set to be out until January the feeling is that Maguire will stay to fight for first-team football at Old Trafford with the Euros so close.
United are keen on Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi as a possible long-term replacement for Maguire but the England defender is thought unlikely to switch clubs mid-season with the Euros months away.
And the expected return of Kobbie Mainoo in defensive midfield and Amad Diallo, albeit sometime later in the season as a possible right winger, could well see United through to the end of the campaign.