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Borussia Dortmund

Man Utd were ‘extremely close’ to signing Gary Neville transfer recommendation

Manchester United were extremely close to signing a player Gary Neville believed to be the ideal alternative to Jadon Sancho.

The England winger was chased by the Red Devils all summer last year only to be told by Borussia Dortmund a deal was off.

It left them empty-handed, though they signed teenage pair Facundo Pellestri and Amad instead.

However, there were a number of players on the shortlist Old Trafford, with one in particular coming very close to joining.

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Watford star Ismaila Sarr had just been relegated with the Hornets but was a standout performer at Vicarage Road.

One of his glistening displays that caught the eye was a memorable match against Liverpool in the Premier League.

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - JANUARY 19: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund looks on during the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund at BayArena on January 19, 2021 in Leverkusen, Germany. Sporting stadiums around Germany remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Manchester United were desperate to sign Jadon Sancho last summer

United were interested in his services over the summer and former Watford director Filippo Giraldi has claimed a transfer was on the brink of going through.

He said on the Here We Go podcast: “We were extremely close, I was personally negotiating with them.

“We weren’t able to reach an agreement. And I think Ismaila is very young, he will arrive for sure.

“He missed probably an opportunity, but I think also for his football to stay here and get 10 goals and 10 assists, he’s deciding the league.

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“I think for Watford in the condition they are at the moment it’s luck he stayed.”

United were close to signing Watford ace Ismaila Sarr
United were close to signing Watford ace Ismaila Sarr

United legend Neville has advocated the signing of Sarr at Old Trafford in the past and was particularly blown away by his performance against West Ham last season.

” Manchester United need a right winger. He’s a big, big talent, honestly he really is,” Neville told Sky Sports’ The Gary Neville Podcast.

“We’ve seen his performances before but tonight he was a shining light, even in that first half there were periods where Watford did attack and it was through him.

“So yeah he’ll be sought after and Watford will, I’m sure, cash in if they get the right bid.”

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