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Man Utd should be trying to sign Upamecano instead of Sancho, says Ferdinand

13:05 BST 26/09/2020
Jadon Sancho Dortmund 2020-21
A former Old Trafford favourite believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has more pressing issues to address at the back than going forward at the moment

Manchester United should be trying to sign Dayot Upamecano instead of Jadon Sancho, according to Rio Ferdinand.

United identified Dortmund winger Sancho as their number one target when the summer transfer window opened, but have so far been frustrated in their attempts to bring the England international back to the Premier League.

BVB are holding out for €120 million (£110m/$140m) for the 20-year-old, who moved to Westfalenstadion from Manchester City in 2017, and the Red Devils are reluctant to fork out such a large fee in the current economic climate.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has so far only been able to add one player to his ranks amid the club's continued pursuit of Sancho, with Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek moving to Manchester from Ajax for £35m ($45m) on September 2.

United have been linked with the likes of Alex Telles, Kalidou Koulibaly, Jack Grealish, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Raul Jimenez and Moussa Dembele, but have so far been unable to finalise any further deals, much to the frustration of supporters.

The Red Devils have also been credited with an interest in RB Leipzig centre-back Upamecano recently, and Ferdinand thinks he would be a far more valuable addition to Solskjaer's squad than Sancho due to the team's well-documented defensive issues.

A club legend has urged United to invest in someone who can dominate at the back, with it his belief that a man currently plying his trade in the Bundesliga can help take the team to the next level.

“They haven’t got £200m to spend on a centre-back if they wanted one like me!” Ferdinand told talkSPORT. “I’ve been banging the drum for a long time about buying a centre-half.

“It’s not going to solve every problem but it’s one of the biggest problems. There’s no dominant centre-half which makes the opposition think, ‘I’m going to have to do something today to get any change out of him’.

“You need that if you’re going to win anything. Jadon Sancho is a generational talent who is here to stay, so you can understand the interest, but for me, they need a centre-back.

“Upamecano is young, good on the ball, athletic, strong, mobile, plays every game. He’s one you can see coming in right now.

“[Kalidou] Koulibaly has been spoken about for two or three years, he might have missed the boat due to his age. There’s no resale value.

“Upamecano is the one who jumps out to me, when I watched the Champions League last year, he was the one who stood out to me.

“If you sign Jadon Sancho, I think you still have the same problems as last season.”