Manchester United’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho has been handed a huge boost, with Borussia Dortmund already scouring Europe for his replacement.
The England international was extensively linked with a move to Old Trafford last summer and there were claims he had agreed personal terms ahead of a move.
However, United bosses were unwilling to meet Dortmund’s £108million valuation, meaning he remained at Signal Iduna for another season.
That transfer saga was blamed in part, for Sancho’s below-par start to the season, with Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke believing his head was turned.
"It was signalled that the fee offer would be paid in instalments over several years," Watzke said. “It was all theoretical from then on.
"Maybe Jadon had subconsciously prepared for a move a bit.
“I believe he at least thought about it that much that he lost a bit of his ease.”
That hasn’t been a problem since the turn of the year however and Sancho is now one of the form players in Europe.
United are reportedly ready to go back in for the 21-year-old, with Star Sport claiming they are preparing an £80m bid.
And Dortmund, who have a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ in place for Sancho to leave this summer, have made signing his replacement a huge priority.
France Football claim that the Bundesliga giants, who secured their place in the Champions League over the weekend, are ready to lodge a €25m bid Lille winger Jonathan Ikone.
PSV’s Donyell Malen, Ajax star David Neres and Pedro Goncalves from Sporting are also on the radar for Dortmund as they look to ensure Sancho’s departure does not impact them too much.
The club’s sporting director hinted that there had been discussions last summer which meant Sancho would stay in Dortmund for one more season before being allowed to leave.
"We already had a gentlemen's agreement with Jadon last year that he can switch under certain conditions," Zorc said.
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