Manchester United should abandon their ambitions to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund and instead look to try and steal Harry Kane from Tottenham for around the same fee in order to challenge Liverpool next season. That’s the belief of player-turned-pundit Paul Merson.
The Red Devils have made Dortmund winger Sancho, 20, their top target for the summer as they look to solve a problem position on the right-hand flank.
While Mason Greenwood has emerged as an option there, United eventually want to use Greenwood as a centre forward with Marcus Rashford out on the left and then Sancho on the right with Bruno Fernandes in the No 10 role.
But Dortmund are holding firm on their £108m valuation of England international Sancho – a fee United are simply unwilling to pay.
That has seen negotiations stall and United are looking at alternative targets such as Kingsley Coman and Ousmane Dembele.
But Merson thinks instead that Solskjaer should be seeking a deal to replace current frontman Anthony Martial, although the Frenchman was United’s joint-top goalscorer in the league on 17.
Martial has produced 23 goals and 12 assists from 47 appearances across all competitions in what has been his best campaign yet at Old Trafford.
Yet former Arsenal and Aston Villa attacker Merson thinks Tottenham talisman Kane should be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s priority target this summer instead.
The 27-year-old has established himself as one of the finest marksmen in Europe with Spurs, scoring 143 Premier League goals in just 207 games.
That has seen him tipped to rival Alan Shearer’s all-time record of 260 goals in England’s top flight, though injuries have hampered Manchester City-linked Kane’s progress.
Yet adding a goalscorer as prolific as Kane would be a signal of intent and would help catapult United into title contention, thinks Merson.
United are looking 33-point gap to champions Liverpool next term having yet to win the league since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, coming closest under Jose Mourinho in 2017-18 when they finished 19 points off City.
Merson wrote in his weekly Daily Star column: “Manchester United should forget Jadon Sancho and sign Harry Kane instead – it would make them title contenders.
“With Sancho, it’s a transfer saga that’s dragging on now, and I keep on weighing it up thinking: ‘Is this what United really need?’
“They’ve got Mason Greenwood, who’s going to be a star. Marcus Rashford is only going to get better and better.
“But while Anthony Martial lets nobody down, I think they need an out-and-out centre forward.
“With Sancho, where is everyone going to play? Do they leave Greenwood out?
“I just think with £100m, why don’t you go and get Kane from Tottenham?
“Over 38 games, Harry Kane will score more goals for you than Sancho. I think they have a chance of winning the Premier League if he goes there.
“Would he go? You’d have to ask serious questions of him if he didn’t!
“Winning trophies is the name of the game and he has a much better chance of doing that at United than Spurs.
“Sancho is a great player. But where do you play him? He’s another winger and they are already strong there. It’s at centre forward where they need help.
“Don’t get me wrong, Sancho would be a great signing for them. He suits their style of play and he would be successful there.
“But I don’t give them any chance of winning the league if they spend all their money on him. For me they need a striker.”
Spurs are said to want a world-record £200m fee for Kane, however, although the England striker has suggested he will consider his future at the north London outfit if they do not compete for major honours.
Kane has yet to win a trophy with Spurs having lost a Champions League final and Carabao Cup final under Mauricio Pochettino, with ex-United boss Mourinho now the man tasked with ending the club’s 12-year wait for silverware.
He said to Sky Sports in March: “It’s one of those things, I couldn’t say yes, I couldn’t say no. I love Spurs, I’ll always love Spurs.
“But it’s one of those things – I’ve always said if I don’t feel we’re progressing as a team or going in the right direction, then I’m not someone to just stay there for the sake of it
“I’m an ambitious player, I want to improve, I want to get better, I want to become one of the top, top players.
“It all depends on what happens as a team and how we progress as a team. So it’s not a definite I’m going to stay there forever – but it’s not a no either.”
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