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Transfer news: Man United ‘pause’ pursuit of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho

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United are prioritising other areas of the pitch.

Last summer, Manchester United’s transfer window was dominated by the club’s much-publicised pursuit of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.

After a hugely impressive 2019/20 campaign for the Bundesliga side, Sancho was looked upon as the ideal candidate to improve the right side of United’s attack.

However, despite weeks of intense speculation, Sancho remained in Germany. Having failed to lure the England international to Old Trafford, United agreed a deal to sign Atalanta’s Amad Diallo, who arrived in January.

Greenwood’s return to form

As the season has progressed, it has become increasingly clear that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must prioritise the recruitment of a central defender ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

While United have played some thrilling attacking football at times this season, they have often conceded soft goals. Indeed, they have conceded 32 Premier League goals this term, whereas Manchester City – the team they’re chasing at the top – have shipped just 15.

United have had more success at the other end of the pitch, of course, and with Mason Greenwood returning to form following a slow start to the season, the Red Devils no longer seem to be targeting a right-sided attacker.

According to The Athletic, Greenwood’s rise has led to United cooling their interest in Sancho.

Greenwood, who can operate in a number of different roles in attack, signed a new long-term deal with United last week, tying him down to the club until 2025.

“Despite retaining an interest in Sancho and refusing to rule out signing him if the right deal arises, United’s bid for the England international has been paused,” writes The Athletic’s David Ornstein.

United must strengthen defence – Neville

The report adds that United are hoping to sign a new striker as well as a central defender.

Speaking on Monday Night Football last week, former United defender Gary Neville highlighted the need for Solskjaer to strengthen his defence.

“I don’t think the discussions we’re having now are anything new,” said Neville.

“We said at the start of the season that Manchester United needed a centre-back, and that there were question marks over the goalkeeper.

“The key thing is that only one of the last 20 Premier League champions have conceded at least one goal per game,” he added.

“That tells you about these three of De Gea, Lindelof and Maguire. To win titles, that triangle of goalkeeper and two centre-backs need to be as solid as a rock.

“They concede too many goals and if you concede one or more goals per game, you’re not going to win a Premier League. Manchester United have to look at that.”

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