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21st Dec 2023

Man United offered Raphinha as part of Sancho swap deal on one condition

Patrick McCarry

Sancho Raphinha

Sancho was the last attacker to score a goal at Old Trafford for Man United

As we head towards 2024, Jadon Sancho remains the last of the Manchester United attacker to score a Premier League goal at Old Trafford [back in May, last season]. It is enough to make a deal for former Leeds player Raphinha all the more appealing.

Erik ten Hag has seen all that he needs to see with the England international, who joined United for £73 million (€85m) in 2021. Sancho scored seven times in 41 outings, under ten Hag, last season but has only featured three times, across all competitions, this season.

Banished to train with the U23s [reserves] and youth players, following a social media dig at his manager just after an Arsenal game he was dropped for, Sancho’s days at United look numbered. Many teammates have urged him to apologise but that has not happened. Recent media reports about ten Hag losing the dressing room and have questionable coaching methods also appeared favourable to Sancho, leading some sleuths to deduce there may be some connectivity there.

United’s chief operating officer Collette Roche told the United ‘Fans Forum’ not to expect big January transfers, stating that the club may be more interested in outgoings than incomings. She said:

“Looking ahead to the January transfer window, we are not expecting it to be particularly busy. There will always be the possibility of deals around the edges of the squad, particularly in terms of finding opportunities for players who are not playing as much football as they would like.

“However, we’ve always been consistent in saying that we do not see January as the optimal time to do business and our recruitment strategy remains focused on summer windows. We’ve seen this season that Financial Fair Play rules have real teeth, so we have to be very careful to ensure that we remain compliant, and we will. But that means being really disciplined on spending going forward, with a balance between incomings and outgoings.”

According to Manchester Evening News, last week, the club was open to selling five senior players. That story is backed up by The Daily Mail on four of those five players. All told, we have:

  • Raphaël Varane, Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek.

The first domino to fall there is van de Beek, who is set for a loan move to Eintracht Frankfurt for the remainder of the season. Should that move go well, the Germans have first option on a £12.5m permanent switch.

Anthony Martial has been linked with a move to Fenerbache, who signed midfielder Fred from United last summer. Casemiro and Varane have both been mentioned in terms of Saudi Pro League transfers, but the French international could be back in favour after impressing in the 0-0 draw with Liverpool.

Sancho has been linked with RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund, his former club, but neither would not be able to afford his wages – £350,000 a week [€405m]. Again, the Saudi route is there but it would appeal more to United than a 23-year-old with England ambitions, heading into a European Championships year.

Spanish outlet Sport are the latest to link Sancho with a Barcelona swap deal that would see Raphinha going the other way however there are certain conditions that must be met.

Raphinha for Jadon Sancho?

Raphinha scored 10 times and had nine assists in 50 Barcelona games, last season, as the club won the Supercopa and La Liga titles. He has two goals and four assists, so far, this season but Barcelona are down in fourth so it is crisis mode [yet again].

The Catalan giants are looking to freshen up their squad and the former Leeds United winger has been offered to a couple of Saudi League big-hitters. With those big spenders even blanching at the club’s €90m asking price, swaps and loans are being considered.

We could have Raphinha heading back to the Premier League [he scored 11 times in 35 games in his last season there] but the catch is the salary difference between him and Jadon Sancho.

The Brazilian is on considerably less in comparison to what Sancho earns at Old Trafford. Given the financial constraints Barca got themselves into, thanks to a pile of past mis-dealings, the Spaniards would be expecting United to make up the difference.

For any deal to go through, United may have to swallow their pride and make up the difference in wages.

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