Manchester United are reportedly keeping tabs on Harvey Barnes, with the Leicester starlet eyed as a potential alternative to long-term target Jadon Sancho.
As per the report from The Sun, Manchester United are not yet done with their recruitment for the right side of their attack. Jadon Sancho has been their long-term target. However, the Red Devils are now considering Leicester City attacker Harvey Barnes as a potential alternative to the Dortmund superstar.
There is no shying away from the fact that Manchester United have been pursuing Jadon Sancho aggressively, with the English international viewed as a priority addition to the squad. United failed to convince Borussia Dortmund to part ways with Sancho in the summer and with the club reluctant to go over the board with their spending, Sancho might not be a realistic target anymore.
The report, thus, iterates that Manchester United are scouring for an alternative, with Harvey Barnes emerging as a credible option. There might be an argument that United do not need to pursue the Leicester star or Sancho after Amad Traore arrives from Atalanta in January. Amad, along with Facundo Pellistri, who has been settling in well in the Under-23s for United, might well be able to fill the void on the right amicably.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might view the need to fill the void as an immediate one, having struggled to find any of the current options within the squad consistent enough thus far. This would make a good argument in favour of pursuing another winger in Barnes.
Harvey Barnes came through the Leicester academy setup and managed to make a mark in the senior team for the Foxes in 2019 after a couple of promising loan spells elsewhere. The 22-year-old has now become an essential part of the setup under Brendan Rodgers, playing every Premier League game of the 2020/21 campaign so far, with 3 goals and an assist to show for his efforts.
The problem, though, lies in the fact that while Barnes has played on the right, he is predominantly a left-winger and loves playing on the left or through the middle. It would make sense for Solskjaer to sanction a move for Barnes to add cover or competition for the left side, with Marcus Rashford and Daniel James the only recognised options in that area.
This puts question mark on the report stating United are looking to pursue Barnes as an alternative to Sancho. Granted, Barnes would cost less than Sancho and will have more Premier League experience than his counterpart. But, as per the report, Barnes is valued at £60 million by Leicester, which is likely to be more than the bracket United would want a deal to be done within.
Manchester United might be interested in the 22-year-old, but it is hard to see Barnes be an alternative to Sancho. If anything, Rashford has played extensively and through injuries, which could prompt Solskjaer to add another left-winger to ease some of the pressure on Rashford and allow more rotation in that position.
This is a rumour that only partly makes sense, with no bid in sight, at least till the summer.