Manchester United’s recent 2-1 win over Brentford came as a much-needed respite for Erik ten Hag, especially given it’s been their shakiest start to a season since the 1986 campaign.
However, challenges are not just limited to match performances for the Red Devils. There have been underlying tensions off the pitch that have made headlines, affecting the morale of the squad.
At the heart of this is the ongoing saga surrounding United’s winger, Jadon Sancho.
In a surprising move, he was left out of the squad for the match against Arsenal prior to the latest international break. When questioned, Ten Hag pointed towards Sancho’s lacklustre training performances as the reason. But in a twist, Sancho took to social media to dismiss this claim and hinted at being made a “scapegoat” for the team’s woes. Even though the post was later removed, the situation remains tense with Sancho yet to rejoin first-team training, pending an apology.
The backdrop of this standoff has fueled speculation around Sancho’s future at Old Trafford. Rumor mills are abuzz with potential interest from the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, and Juventus for the English international’s services.
Should Sancho depart, who might fill his boots? Names like Federico Chiesa from Juventus, Nico Williams of Athletic Bilbao, and Wolves’ star Pedro Neto have all been bandied about.
The latest twist in the tale comes from Spain’s Nacional, which suggests Manchester United’s sights might be set on Real Sociedad’s Takefusa Kubo.
The 22-year-old winger, who started his La Liga season on a high note with five goals in seven appearances, has previously donned the Real Madrid jersey.
Although sold to Sociedad in 2022 after a series of loans, it’s worth noting that Real Madrid retains 50% rights to the player, including a first option for a potential return.
Kubo’s remarkable form hasn’t just caught United’s attention. Several European heavyweights are believed to be tracking his progress. But with Ten Hag reportedly keeping a keen “eye on” the young Japanese sensation, it’s clear United are serious contenders in the race.