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Man Utd's new ruthless contract approach and what it might mean for Jadon Sancho

Man Utd will implement a more ruthless approach to player contracts; club want to prioritise the right culture and recruitment strategy over business interests; United will be more willing to terminate contracts; discussions have taken place over the Jadon Sancho's situation

Jadon Sancho

Manchester United will implement a more ruthless approach to their process over player contracts in a bid to prioritise the right culture and recruitment strategy over business interests.

Sky Sports News understands this will form part of the directive to strengthen football operations when INEOS' 25 per cent stake in the club is ratified.

United will be more willing to terminate contracts if it's for the greater good, and discussions to this effect have taken place over the Jadon Sancho situation.

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Erik ten Hag says it's up to Jadon Sancho if he wants to return

If an exit route does not materialise for the 23-year-old, United will consider severing ties instead of trying to recoup some of their £73m outlay.

As revealed by Sky Sports News in October, clubs in Serie A, Bundesliga and the Turkish Super Lig have done due diligence on Sancho, with his wage packet being an obstacle.

United want to be more "culture-focused" in their decision-making and have noted Arsenal as an example where cutting ties with players instead of trying to hold out for a fee can help reshape a squad and create an environment of excellence.

The north London club have terminated a series of contracts under Mikel Arteta, with Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe being high-profile examples. The decisive action and how it has helped the manager drive positive change and enhance standards at Arsenal is greatly admired by INEOS.

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They want to also stop unnecessary contract extensions at United if it doesn't make football sense. In the past, lucrative fresh terms on deals would be sanctioned to protect a player's value and avoid losing them on a free transfer.

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The Telegraph’s Jason Burt and The Times’ Charlotte Duncker discuss the news that Manchester United are reportedly set to sell Jadon Sancho in January.

This has been counter-productive for United as it priced players out of being sold and was flagged as one of the core reasons the club find it so hard to trim the squad and make a profit on outgoings.

United's option for an extra 12 months on deals will also not automatically be triggered moving forward unless necessary.

The belief is being more stringent over the contract process will aid the objective of selling better, which in turn would give United more capacity for buying.

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Steve Bruce and Andros Townsend were both in agreement that Jadon Sancho must apologise to Erik ten Hag if he is to play for Manchester United again.

The club are set for a quiet January window to keep in line with FFP.

Football director John Murtough explained to United's fans' forum: "There will always be the possibility of deals around the edges of the squad, particularly in terms of finding opportunities for players who are not playing as much football as they would like.

"However, we've always been consistent in saying that we do not see January as the optimal time to do business and our recruitment strategy remains focused on summer windows.

"We've seen this season that financial fair play (FFP) rules have real teeth, so we have to be very careful to ensure that we remain compliant, and we will.

"But that means being really disciplined on spending going forward, with a balance between incomings and outgoings."

When does the January window open?


The transfer window opens on Monday January 1, 2024 and will close at 11pm on Thursday February 1, 2024.

To ensure harmonisation with the major leagues in Europe, the closing dates were set following discussions with the EFL, DFL, Serie A, LaLiga, and LFP, who will all close their summer and winter windows on 1 September and 1 February respectively.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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