Chelsea, Liverpool and his former club Man City (who have first refusal to buy him back) have all been linked with a move for Sancho but according to The Independent Man United are said to be the favorites to sign him due to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s project of building a young, exciting team.
Per the report, Sancho is valued at over $120 million by Dortmund and if Man United sneak into the Champions League it seems like a perfect fit for everyone as Solskjaer continues to prioritize signing young British players after the arrival or Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Daniel James last summer. Add Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood into the mix and half of the England team could be playing for Man United next season.
With uncertainty over when the transfer window will reopen due to the coronavirus pandemic, whenever it does you can expect Jadon Sancho to be the most in-demand player in Europe.
His form for Dortmund as a teenager has been nothing short of sensational and his decision to leave Man City for Germany three years ago has paid off, big time. With 14 goals and 15 assists in the Bundesliga so far this season, he’s putting up the best numbers of his career and Sancho is shinning.
Comfortable on the right wing, a front four of Rashford on the left, Bruno Fernandes in the center, Sancho on the right and Anthony Martial up top must have Man United fans licking their chops in anticipation.
Transfer news: Soumare to Liverpool; Lemar to Man United
Let’s take a look at some of the latest Premier League transfer news below.
Do Liverpool need a new box-to-box midfielder? Apparently so.
With Fabinho in and out of the team through injury, plus Naby Keita linked with a move back to RB Leipzig and James Milner becoming more of a bit-part player, it is perhaps one of the only areas where Jurgen Klopp can strengthen his incredible Liverpool squad.
A report from Spanish outlet Sport claims that Liverpool have held talks with Lille over signing Boubakary Soumare, 21, for some time and are keen on the young Frenchman.
As for Man United, they are said to be interested in Atletico Madrid winger Thomas Lemar, 24, who has totally fallen out of favor with Diego Simeone.
After it looked like he could sign for Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal in the summer of 2017, Lemar joined Atletico from AS Monaco in 2018 but has struggled to adapt his game to La Liga and according to ESPN his agents have been in discussions with Man United earlier this week.
The French international has quality on the ball and is a fine dribbler and his arrival could perhaps spell the end at Man United for the likes of Jesse Lingard and Andreas Perreira, as Lemar can operate across all three attacking midfield positions. Alongside the brilliant Bruno Fernandes, Lemar would provide something a little different for Man United’s attack with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford leading the line. Daniel James has faded a little in recent months after a strong start to life at Old Trafford but is still young but Lemar’s quality and experience would surely see him become a regular at Man United.
As the report notes, Lemar will not come cheap as he has three years left on his contract at Atletico but his direct dribbling style and pace on the counter would suit this Man United side very well. His qualities aren’t suite to the way Atletico play but that would not be the case at Man United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
With Liverpool so close to its first Premier League title, uneven giants battling for European places, and three clubs tied for 18th place on the table, well, we needed somewhere to turn.
We went with FIFA20 to see how the table will play out, who will claim the FA Cup, and which Premier League sides might thrive in the Champions League and Europa League.
Let’s follow the path, starting with two postponed matches.
Postponed matches: City pulls back within 22 points of Liverpool, as Mikel Arteta doesn’t come close to outfoxing his old boss Pep Guardiola. Meanwhile, Mbwana Samatta strikes late to steal a point for Villa and pull them within a point of West Ham, Watford, and Bournemouth.
Man City 4-1 Arsenal Villa 1-1 Sheffield United
Matchday 30: A historic kind of day, as Man City is the only host to win a match. Spurs’ Jose Mourinho gets a draw versus Man Utd, while Liverpool crushes Everton behind a Sadio Mane hat trick.
Norwich City 0-0 Saints West Ham 0-1 Wolves Bournemouth 2-2 Palace Brighton 1-2 Arsenal Everton 1-3 Liverpool Spurs 1-1 Man Utd Villa 0-2 Chelsea Watford 1-2 Leicester City Newcastle 1-1 Sheffield United Man City 2-0 Burnley
Matchday 31: Arsenal moves four points clear of Spurs, who fall to an inspired West Ham. The Irons pull out of the drop zone… for good.
Newcastle 2-0 Villa Burnley 0-0 Watford Wolves 2-1 Bournemouth Liverpool 2-0 Palace Leicester City 3-0 Brighton Norwich City 1-1 Everton Spurs 0-2 West Ham Southampton 1-3 Arsenal Man Utd 3-0 Sheff Utd Chelsea 2-4 Man City
Matchday 32: Liverpool wins the league in stunning style. A draw is all the Reds need to take the trophy. Raheem Sterling gives City a 1-0 lead in the first half, only to see a Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick supply the league-winning point.
Nigel Pearson‘s Hornets move out of the drop zone with 31 points.
West Ham 1-2 Chelsea Arsenal 4-1 Norwich Everton 1-0 Leicester City Palace 2-0 Burnley Brighton 1-5 Man Utd Bournemouth 0-3 Newcastle Watford 2-1 Saints Man City 1-1 Liverpool Sheffield United 1-2 Spurs Villa 0-4 Wolves
Matchday 33: Norwich City gets within a win of Brighton by beating them at home behind an Emi Buendia penalty. Arsenal draws Wolves to pull within three points of the top five.
Burnley 2-1 Sheff Utd Leicester City 2-2 Palace Saints 1-5 Man City Spurs 0-3 Everton Wolves 1-1 Arsenal Liverpool 4-0 Villa Norwich 2-1 Brighton Newcastle 2-2 West Ham Man Utd 0-0 Bournemouth Chelsea 4-0 Watford
Matchday 34: It’s getting congested in the top four, with third-place Leicester winless in four following a loss at Arsenal. Palace draws Chelsea, allowing victorious Wolves and Manchester United to pull within two points of fourth.
Norwich City wins again, passing Aston Villa and joining 18th-place Brighton on 29 points.
Sheffield United 0-2 Wolves Watford 1-2 Norwich City West Ham 4-1 Burnley Bournemouth 2-0 Spurs Everton 2-2 Saints Man City 3-1 Newcastle Palace 0-0 Chelsea Arsenal 1-0 Leicester City Brighton 0-2 Liverpool Villa 0-2 Man Utd
Matchday 35: Sheffield United snaps a four-match losing streak with a draw against Chelsea, but the top seven hopes are dead.
Burnley takes a point at Anfield as City moves back within 20 of the Reds.
Brighton 1-4 Man City Norwich City 1-2 West Ham Villa 1-1 Palace Watford 2-3 Newcastle Wolves 2-1 Everton Spurs 0-2 Arsenal Sheffield United 1-1 Chelsea Bournemouth 1-2 Leicester City Man Utd 2-1 Southampton Liverpool 1-1 Burnley
Matchday 36: Villa surprises Everton to move within a result of safety in a five-horse race to avoid the drop. Chelsea, Manchester United, and Wolves all win to hit the 62-point mark, two back of third-place Leicester City.
Leicester City 0-0 Sheffield United Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool Everton 1-2 Villa Man City 3-0 Bournemouth Newcastle 0-4 Spurs Burnley 0-2 Wolves Chelsea 3-0 Norwich City West Ham 2-0 Watford Palace 0-2 Man Utd Saints 1-1 Brighton
Matchday 37: All of the top five combatants stumble except Wolves, who jump into third with a win over Crystal Palace at the Molineux.
Spurs 2-0 Leicester City Wolves 2-0 Palace Brighton 0-4 Newcastle Bournemouth 0-3 Southampton Villa 0-3 Arsenal Sheffield United 0-3 Everton Norwich City 0-2 Burnley Man Utd 1-1 West Ham Watford 1-3 Man City Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea
Matchday 38: Talk about a dramatic final day, all things considered!
Manchester United gets a leaping Bruno Fernandes penalty to send Leicester City tumbling into sixth despite most of the season in the top three! The Red Devils climb into third because of what happens at Stamford Bridge.
Hosts Chelsea need a win over Wolves to take back fourth, as the visitors enter the day three points ahead with a one-goal advantage in differential. Christian Pulisic sets up a Willian winner to give Chelsea fourth by virtue of total wins (19).
Liverpool takes the league with a 2-0 defeat of Newcastle at St. James’ Park, completing the season with a 20-point advantage on Man City. Arsenal completes the European picture, havng been settled in seventh for some time.
The relegation scene is pretty nuts, with five teams finishing the day within three points of the bottom. All five lose, with Bournemouth and Watford staying up despite season-ending losing streaks. Nigel Pearson’s Hornets finish the season with 31 points, the same total they had after Matchday 32.
Arsenal 3-0 Watford Burnley 2-1 Brighton Chelsea 1-0 Wolves Palace 2-1 Spurs Everton 3-0 Bournemouth Leicester City 0-1 Man Utd Man City 1-0 Norwich City Newcastle 0-2 Liverpool Saints 3-1 Sheffield United West Ham 3-1 Villa
Europa League: Manchester United gave Roma permission to use loanee Chris Smalling, and the defender powers a 13th-minute header home that stands until Anthony Martial delivers a goal three minutes from time. David De Gea is the star in penalty kicks, as United wins 4-3.
UEFA Champions League: Pep Guardiola leads Man City into its final UCL game for two seasons, and it’s against his old pals Barcelona. Quique Setien’s side flusters City’s attack, and Lionel Messi wins it at the hour mark for the Blaugranas.
It has been a while – if ever – since the Premier League has seen a player like Bruno Fernandes.
The Manchester United midfielder, who joined this January from Portuguese club Sporting CP, has so far been worth every single penny of the $70 million the Red Devils forked over. At 25 years old, Fernandes was minted as the PFA Player of the Month for February on Monday, and it’s no surprise to see him garner plaudits left and right since his arrival a month ago.
What makes Bruno Fernandes so wonderful to watch – and concurrently so valuable to Manchester United – is also what makes him look on paper to be total chaos personified. He is, quite literally, everywhere. When his movements are transcribed onto graphical images, Bruno Fernandes appears to be a chicken with his head cut off. He kind of is, but it’s obviously more nuanced than that.
As you can see, the new Manchester United talisman covers nearly the entire attacking half of the field. He also contributes a heavy amount defensively, to moderate success. This isn’t exactly what sets him completely apart, but it’s the start. Few players are able to cover this amount of attacking ground while having such an effect on the game. Kevin De Bruyne is a player with similar freedom, and he has budded into maybe the most destructive creative force in Europe.
Yet while de Bruyne is more of a facilitator, Fernandes is more of a nomad. The Portuguese international doesn’t exactly feature on the ball nearly as much as his Belgian counterpart across town, instead choosing to float and wander looking for pockets of space as his teammates share the workload. If you watch Bruno Fernandes off the ball, he’s continually serving as a foil for his fellow attackers, often drifting away from a ball-carrier’s direction where space is available hoping to either carry too many defenders or none at all.
Bruno Fernandes picks his spots.
That was never more evident than against Manchester City, where the midfielder had to take special care and not waste what precious little possession the Red Devils had. With the visitors holding an enormous possessional advantage at Old Trafford – Man City out-passed Manchester United 671-215 – Fernandes was forced to make the most of the scraps he could find. He started the game out on the right flank as Anthony Martial found joy down the opposite end, but soon drifted centrally and then to his favored left edge as Daniel James grew in influence on the ball. He eventually found his moment, first earning the key 29th minute foul before serving up the game’s most critical moment.
When he did deliver, it highlighted another of his wide-ranging skill set: Bruno Fernandes is a set-piece wizard. Not only does he consistently deliver excellent corners into dangerous areas, but his chipped free-kick was left on a platter for Anthony Martial on the opening goal. All told, Fernandes seemingly did more with his limited touches – 25 received passes, 24 attempted passes – than Manchester City did all 90 minutes while hoofing a massive 33 crosses and appearing devoid of any creative flair. At the end of the match, despite the huge gulf in possession, Manchester United had somehow out-shot Man City 12-7.
Watch the Every Touch video posted above. What do you notice? Yes, Manchester United was sloppy against Manchester City at times, and Fernandes included. That’s what happens when you play the Pep Guardiola swarm and press. Still, every time he loses the ball he races back to try and challenge, and every time he connects with a teammate there’s a calming presence before he races off to find space of his own off the ball.
Where else can you find a player with this varied and unique skill set?
De Bruyne is the most obvious comparison, but the Belgian does not tackle at such a rate – Fernandes has him almost double, with two tackles per game to de Bruyne’s 1-3. Tackling is still an area of improvement for Fernandes, having whiffed on all five of his attempts against Manchester City to leave him 10/29 so far in Premier League play, but the pressing output is the important part for an attacking player like Fernandes. Otherwise, statistically KDB has a mimic on his hands, which is high praise.
Mesut Ozil is a player that, when at his best, can be a versatile and diverse attacking player but he also wouldn’t dare produce the defensive contributions (0.9 tackles, 0.3 interceptions, and 0.1 clearances per game to Bruno Fernandes’ 2.0, 1.0, and 1.8). Mason Mount will track back every so often, but his usage is far more one-sided as the Chelsea youngster favors the left flank. Fernandes’ countrymate Joao Moutinho is closer statistically than one might think, considering he currently sits eighth in the Premier League in chances created, but he still does not get forward with the fluidity and consistency that Fernandes does, instead anchored in the middle of the Wolves formation and favoring the left side.
In typical Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fashion, the Manchester United boss compared his new signing to a Red Devils great in Paul Scholes, in part thanks to the number of the back of his shirt, and Wayne Rooney echoed that comparison just a few days ago, according to the Mirror, after Derby County was dropped by Manchester United in the FA Cup. In truth, Fernandes has a bit more flair than Scholes did, and that’s not a knock on the midfield legend. Fernandes simply seems to play with a little less strength and a little more finesse than was Scholes’ calling card.
There really is no other player quite like Bruno Fernandes, and he could be the foundation upon which Manchester United builds its new era. There is a new great player who calls the Premier League home, and that should excite fans of all teams, even those who are adversely affected by his magic.