Ismaila Sarr’s agent has lifted the lid on a summer approach from Manchester United to take the winger away from Watford, which surprisingly did not contain an option to sign him permanently.
The Senegal international joined the Hornets from Stade Rennais in 2019 for a club-record fee and scored five goals in his debut Premier League season, but he couldn’t save his new side from relegation to the Championship.
Many expected the 22-year-old to depart in the summer, with fans seeing him as too good to play at that level, but to the surprise of many he remained with the Hornets and was often used as a centre-forward as Vladimir Ivic persisted with a 3-5-2 wingerless system.
It showed that versatility was another good asset that Sarr possesses as he did go on a run of three goals in four games through the middle, but he was soon back on the wing, and apparently, a move to Liverpool in the recent January window fell through.
That’s according to agent Thierno Seydi, who claimed that a contract to take Sarr to Anfield was drawn up, but the Reds refused to stump the £35 million transfer fee up that Watford wanted.
It turns out though that it wasn’t just one Premier League team that apparently wanted him, as Man United came in with a bizarre offer for Sarr months before.
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“Over the summer, (Manchester United) wanted to sign the Senegalese forward. At the last moment, they offered a loan without any option to buy,” Seydi told PanAfrican Football.
“Watford did not accept (it) because the loan would have to have been accompanied by an option to buy – with Manchester United having first refusal (to make the deal permanent).”
The Pozzo family must have laughed when they received a loan approach for Sarr from United, as it wouldn’t have benefitted the club in any way whatsoever.
It would have made more sense if there was an obligation to buy at the end of the season, but from the sounds of it, there wasn’t even an option, which makes the offer even more bizarre.
United and Liverpool’s loss is Watford’s gain though – they keep Sarr until the end of the season and that must make them a real automatic promotion contender still despite their inconsistencies.