Manchester United have been linked to Jack Grealish as they struggle to complete the move for Jadon Sancho this summer - perhaps it is time they move on to more realistic targets.
United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has struggled most years to deliver a group of signings to his manager in a timely manner. Often, deals are completed at the last minute, if they happen at all.
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Release clauses, agent fees, wage demands and an unwillingness to properly support a manager have all been problems in the past and while all these could be problems for Sancho’s recruitment, the background of Covid-19 has created a difficult financial situation to overcome.
A decent club setup will have a list of alternative players who could be brought in if Sancho is unavailable. Luckily for United, we are the decent setup. Let's begin.

Jack Grealish

There are concerns over the 24-year-old playmaker’s professionalism off the pitch, after he crashed his car early on in the coronavirus lockdown, and he has yet to find his way into the England squad despite years of eligibility. There is doubtless a talented player there, but while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to buy British, at 24 a £75 million transfer should be delivering almost the finished article. If Grealish lacks commitment, he will fail to deliver that.

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Douglas Costa

The impact of coronavirus has led other clubs to cut their own cloth accordingly, and Juventus seem ready to clear the decks. Douglas Costa has reportedly already been offered to United and might be available for around £30 million. There is little reason to doubt the talent of the 29-year-old Brazilian international, but injuries mean he has failed to play more than 30 games in either of the last two seasons. Signing an older player goes against United’s recent attempts, especially under Solskjaer.

Douglas Costa (Juventus Turin)

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Ousmane Dembele

Barcelona are also in need of sales, and could be in crisis if Lionel Messi manages to leave on a free transfer. Ousman Dembele could be sacrificed to raise money to bring in a replacement for Messi after the French international has struggled to adapt to life in Spain. A hamstring injury has kept him out for much of 2020, and at 23 time is running out for him to prove himself on the big stage before Barca cut their losses. He has been linked with a move to United already but there is no indication the interest is concrete.

Ousmane Dembele

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David Brooks

The 23-year-old Bournemouth player is also another man on his way back from injury, though he appears to have proven his fitness again. Relegation from the Premier League should make Bournemouth motivated sellers so that they can rebuild their stock for a promotion push. Brooks would be an easy way to pad the bank balance with a sale and might be the most logical signing. He would be a quick way to improve United’s squad depth, be an able replacement for Daniel James, and could grow into an excellent player. With time running out before next season too, it would take him no time at all to adjust to the Premier League, unlike others on this list.

David Brooks of Bournemouth during the Premier League match between Everton FC and AFC Bournemouth at Goodison Park on July 26, 2020 in Liverpool, England.

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Raul Jimenez

When United were running around in a panic because they had failed to sign Erling Haaland, they identified Raul Jimenez as a potential replacement alongside Ruben Neves. Neves wanted to hold out for a move to Juventus, so he could be another option should United want to improve their midfield, but Jimenez could be easier. At 29 he is at the top of his game, but Wolves may be tempted to realise some profit and move him on, and ask Jorge Mendes to locate an easy replacement.

Raul Jimenez of Wolves celebrates

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