Former Manchester United player Clayton Blackmore claims he could have saved the club £72m by signing Jadon Sancho for just £100,000 when he was a 16-year-old Manchester City player.
Sancho joined City from the academy at Watford for around £500,000 in 2015, before working his way through the City Football Academy and leaving for Borussia Dortmund in search of first-team progression in 2017 for around £8 million.
After shining in the Bundesliga and making his international debut for England, Sancho joined United in the summer for £72.9m – with City earning around £10m of that fee as part of a sell clause included in the deal to sell him to Dortmund. .
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Sancho started slow at United but has been one of their brightest performers in recent weeks and will look to guide his side to victory at the Etihad on Sunday in the Manchester Derby. However, had things turned out differently, Blackmore claims Sancho could have been a United player for at least five years as he revealed he recommended the youngster to the club from Old Trafford – but no one’ would do the neck”.
Speaking on the Undr The Cosh podcast, Blackmore said: “I was at the United club at the academy, and I remember saying we had to have Sancho when he was 16.
“I just watched him terrorize us in an Under-16 game and then he went to Dortmund. No one was ready to stick their heads out and get him now. What did we pay for him now ?£60m?
Discussing Sancho’s promise as a teenager, Blackmore continued: “It was 500km from Watford for City. But City had him in an U16 age group with his own coach, own physio, everything. what they needed was for that age group, even with the under 18s and under 23s.
“I had watched their Under-18s and Under-23s and he was better than any of the players on those teams and he was stuck in the Under-16s. That’s why he left.”
And the former Wales international, who made 186 appearances for United between 1982 and 1994, said he believed United could have signed Sancho for as little as £100,000 at the time of his recommendation.
He said, “I would have gone [for] 100,000,000. It’s easy to say now because he did very well.”
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