Man Utd face Real Madrid transfer battle for Jadon Sancho alternative valued at £34m

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Real Madrid have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby, according to reports. The 21-year-old is averaging a goal or assist every other game for the Bundesliga outfit this season, leading to speculation that he could be poached by one of Europe’s top clubs in the summer transfer window.

United are long-term admirers of Diaby and were interested in securing his services during pre-season, but Leverkusen were determined to keep hold of their man after selling Kai Havertz to Chelsea.

The Red Devils are said to be in the market for a new winger, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lacking out-and-out wide players at his disposal.

Strikers Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial have been forced to play on the flanks this season in order to fill the gaps, with Daniel James struggling to make the most of his first-team opportunities while new signing Amad is raw and needs time to develop.

Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho has been linked with United for some time, but would likely command a transfer fee around the £100million mark.

Solskjaer will be given a total budget of around £80m this summer, suggesting that another move for the England forward could be out of their reach.

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Diaby has been mooted as a cheaper alternative to Sancho, but United could face a tough battle for his signature.

Real Madrid are also among the 21-year-old’s potential suitors, and have sent scouts to Germany in order to track his progress, according to AS.

The report claims that Diaby is rated highly by the Spanish giants, who have a proven track record of turning talented French youngsters into world-class operators, evidenced by the impacts of Raphael Varane and Ferland Mendy at the Bernabeu.

Diaby could be the latest top-class winger to roll off the Bundesliga production line, with Christian Pulisic and Son Heung-min among those to find success outside of Germany in recent seasons.

The youngster was expected to feature for his country at the ongoing under-21 European Championships in Hungary and Slovenia, but was ruled out shortly before the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19.

Although United are keen on sealing a move for the Leverkusen star, they are said to have other irons in the fire.

The Red Devils have also been linked with Leicester City forward Harvey Barnes, Newcastle United’s Allan Saint-Maximin and Pedro Neto of Wolves.

Solskjaer admitted last month that his preparations for the summer transfer window are already well underway, but stressed that large-scale changes should not be expected.

“I still think we’re doing the same planning, preparation,” the Norwegian boss told reporters ahead of his side’s 3-3 draw with Everton at Old Trafford.

“But, of course, the pandemic has changed the market and it’s changed the world and it might affect what we can do. 

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