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A closer look at Manchester United's four-man attacking shortlist

Sports Mole takes a closer look at the four-man attacking shortlist Manchester United have reportedly drafted ahead of the summer window.

Manchester United's transfer plans are continuing in earnest despite the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Red Devils have been touted as one of the few clubs that will still be in a strong enough position to spend significant money when the transfer window reopens, and they have subsequently been linked with a host of high-profile players.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is understood to want a new winger, midfielder, centre-forward and centre-back this summer, and the latest reports claim that the club have drawn up a four-man shortlist of attackers to target.

The list includes Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, Lyon striker Moussa Dembele, Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish and RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the in-demand quartet.



Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho pictured on May 16, 2020© Reuters

Quite possibly the most coveted player in world football at the moment, and one who has been linked with just about every major club in Europe.

The 20-year-old burst onto the scene with Dortmund last season and has only gone from strength to strength since, boasting some of the best goal involvement statistics in the top five leagues and establishing himself in the England set-up to boot.

Sancho has long been touted as United's top target, and speculation that he could be on his way to Old Trafford increased amid reports that Dortmund have been forced to slash their asking price in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dortmund were initially hopeful of earning at least £100m from any deal given Sancho's status as one of the most valuable players in world football - a status achieved through a mix of his age and prodigious talent.

The England international could now be available for closer to £60m, though, which is still a figure most clubs would not be able to raise this summer.

STATS THIS SEASON

Appearances: 38
Goals: 17
Assists: 20



Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)

Jack Grealish in action for Aston Villa on February 22, 2020© Reuters

Grealish's statistics when it comes to goal involvements are not quite as impressive as others in this list, but that is largely down to the fact that he is playing in a team below his own level.

The Englishman has looked head and shoulders above his Aston Villa teammates on numerous occasions this season and he is the primary reason why Dean Smith's side are still in contention for another Premier League campaign next term.

The club captain is expected to leave his boyhood club regardless of whether they avoid relegation or not, although the Midlands outfit are standing firm on their price tag, which has been reported as anywhere between £60m and £80m.

Grealish was heavily tipped to make England's Euro 2020 squad before the tournament was postponed and has certainly established his top-flight credentials this season.

The 24-year-old fits United's profile for transfer targets of English players with room for improvement, and is understood to be United's preferred attacking midfield choice ahead of James Maddison.

STATS THIS SEASON

Appearances: 31
Goals: 9
Assists: 8



Moussa Dembele (Lyon)

Lyon striker Moussa Dembele pictured in February 2020© Reuters

One of United's longest-running transfer searches has been for a new centre-forward; they tried to replace Romelu Lukaku last summer and failed, before a chaotic and frantic January search saw them settle on a loan deal for Odion Ighalo.

Lyon's Dembele is now their number one choice to lead the line, while Premier League rivals Chelsea have also been heavily linked with a move for the Frenchman.

The 23-year-old would be available for around £62m and his previous experience of British football, having played for Fulham and Celtic before joining Lyon, is seen as a positive for United.

Lyon's president Jean-Michel Aulas has already admitted that the club may be forced to cash in on some of their most valuable assets due to their lack of European football next season.

The decision to end the Ligue 1 campaign as a result of the coronavirus outbreak means that Lyon have missed out on Europe for the first time since 1997.

STATS THIS SEASON

Appearances: 42
Goals: 22
Assists: 7



Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)

RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner pictured on May 27, 2020© Reuters

The least expensive player on the shortlist is RB Leipzig's Werner, although that is by no means a sign that he would be any less effective than the others for the Red Devils.

Indeed, Werner has scored more goals than anyone else in this quartet, with a hat-trick earlier this month taking him up to 30 across all competitions for the season.

The 24-year-old has a release clause of £51m in his contract and is understood to be open to a move away, although he favours United's bitter Premier League rivals Liverpool while Chelsea have also been linked.

Liverpool have since pulled out of negotiations having decided against triggering his clause, blowing the race for his signature wide open.

Leipzig are refusing to let the Germany international go for anything less than that £51m mark, although United could regard that as a relatively cheap option for a player with such impressive statistics, even in the current market.

STATS THIS SEASON

Appearances: 39
Goals: 30
Assists: 12

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Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho pictured on May 16, 2020
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23183255144157
2Liverpool22146258193948
3Chelsea24138348183047
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd2211563630638
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham23114841311037
6Arsenal2111373325836
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs2011362624236
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2110471916334
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2261242323030
10Leicester CityLeicester207583437-326
11Aston Villa2182112832-426
12Southampton2251072634-825
13Crystal Palace225983134-324
14Brentford2365122638-1223
15Leeds UnitedLeeds215792440-1622
16Everton2054112435-1119
17Norwich CityNorwich2244141345-3216
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2129102143-2215
19Watford2042142340-1714
20Burnley181981627-1112

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