Manchester United have reportedly been handed a boost in their attempts to sign Jadon Sancho this summer – with Borussia Dortmund appearing to have already lined up his replacement.
Former Old Trafford star Memphis Depay, who played for the club between 2015 and 2017, has been linked with a £40million move to the Bundesliga giants in the event that Sancho does switch to Old Trafford.
According to Bild, Depay is keen to leave Lyon after missing out on Champions League football and may prove integral in the Sancho saga.
England international Sancho remains United’s key target over the coming weeks but negotiations have unsurprisingly proven complex.
Dortmund have continued to stand firm over their hefty £110m valuation of their prize asset and it remains to be seen whether United chiefs are willing to match that price tag.
But recent reports have suggested that the club are now fully focused on snaring Sancho, having cooled interest in Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish, but no breakthrough is yet to be made in negotiations.
Depay has been identified as part of Dortmund’s contingency plans this summer – and United fans will be familiar with the Dutch wideman.
The 26-year-old moved to England in a £30m deal from PSV Eindhoven and had been handed the heavy burden of United’s famed No 7 shirt.
He managed just two league goals in a season and a half, however, and was promptly shipped out to Lyon for just £14m.
But the tricky star has enjoyed improved fortunes in Ligue 1, and Depay is now open to a new challenge after his club fell short of clinching elite European football for the next campaign.
Sancho, meanwhile, enjoyed yet another superb season with Dortmund after scoring 20 goals and recording 18 assists.
And as interest from the red half of Manchester continues to escalate, Dortmund director Michael Zorc admitted he is hopeful Sancho will remain with the club.
The Manchester City academy graduate has two years remaining on his current deal – and Zorc has also stressed the need to ‘stick to the facts’.
‘Jadon is an outstanding footballer with a quota that I have never seen at this age,’ he said, as reported by Goal.
‘I think it would even stand up to being one of the largest in the industry if you look at his age. I would be happy if he would still play with us this season. And that’s the current state of affairs.
‘First of all we have to stick to the facts – and they are so, that we still have a contract with him until 2022.’
Bayern Munich star Kingsley Coman has been touted as a potential alternative on loan in case United’s move for Sancho collapses.