Liverpool have joined the pack of Premier League clubs hoping to land Jadon Sancho this summer—and it’ll cost an absolute fortune to do so.
Outside of Barcelona, PSG and quite possibly Atletico Madrid, anybody who lands the Borussia Dortmund star will have to fork out a club record fee this summer.
It is anticipated that Sancho will cost at least £100 million at the end of the season, quite possibly with a fee which rises considerably further if he stars at Euro 2020 with England.
Man United, Man City and Chelsea had already made their intent known, as had Barcelona and Real Madrid overseas, and now it is reported that Liverpool have also told the Bundesliga club that they want the speedy 19-year-old.
The Mail‘s Dominic King says that the Reds are hoping Jurgen Klopp‘s influence with those at BVB may give the club an edge when it comes to negotiating, while Sancho may be swayed by the presence of several friends within the game already playing at Anfield.
Sancho features at international level with the likes of Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and is also said to be “close” to Rhian Brewster after the pair won the U17 World Cup together three years ago.
Needless to say, this will be one of the most intense, rumour-fuelled and expensive deals of the summer transfer window and it can be expected to roll on for many months yet, given the clubs who want to sign him.
Dortmund will also play up the bidding process and his availability, in order to secure themselves the most lucrative option possible—while looking for him to maintain his outrageous form which has helped them challenge for the Bundesliga title.
Another factor to consider is Liverpool’s impending kit supplier switch to Nike, who are Sancho’s sponsors.
While no deal will be purely driven because of this, it might be a powerful factor which sways the finances when accounting for marketing potential and brand awareness on both parts.
With 13 assists to his name in league play this season, Sancho is second to only Kevin de Bruyne in Europe’s top five leagues—and has played more than 400 minutes fewer than the Belgian.
He also has 12 goals, with his 25 domestic league goal contributions this season the same as Lionel Messi and one fewer than Timo Werner. Mo Salah has 20, Sadio Mane 17 and Roberto Firmino 15 in the Premier League.
The biggest question mark over Sancho signing for Liverpool, aside from the finances, would be where he comes into the team.
A massive outlay and a quality player would both demand a starting role, and he typically plays from the wide areas of attack on either side of the pitch, though predominantly from the right this season.
It could mean a more regular 4-2-3-1 for the Reds, with Salah reprising his No. 9 role once more and Firmino dropping deeper, or else Klopp may opt to indulge in more regular rotation of the front three within the same system.
All four can play multiple roles and would all get game time, though one would also always be on the bench in this scenario, which hasn’t happened often since the trio were first put together.
Before getting too carried away, it’s worth noting that the club’s intent to sign Sancho has not yet been confirmed by other local journalists, with Melissa Reddy recently writing that a “blockbuster” signing wouldn’t be made unless one of the front three departed.
James Pearce also noted he wasn’t expecting any of the front three to leave and couldn’t see the Reds paying £100m for anyone.
Landing Sancho would be a quite incredible coup for the Reds, and an unthinkable one even three or four years ago with other teams on the chase, but it’s a measure of how much Liverpool have achieved and their standing in the game that this isn’t just a realistic possibility now, but that we’re also a far more attractive bet to join than most on the list of Sancho’s admirers.