breaks down the state of play on Sancho’s prospective move to Manchester United as the October 5 deadline looms closer
Manchester United’s move for Jadon Sancho is still up in the air as Deadline Day approaches. To understand the state of play as time runs out, you have to look at the deal from three different points of view – Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and the player and his representatives.
On Thursday we were told Jadon Sancho and his representatives made it clear well before August 1 he wanted to take on the challenge of joining Manchester United.
Borussia Dortmund said they would consider his sale on two conditions; either if United bid £108m or if the bid came in before August 1, a deadline which was later extended to August 10.
On Tuesday, United had a bid for Sancho worth up to £91.3m (€100m) rejected by Borussia Dortmund. The offer, which failed to meet either of Dortmund’s criteria, was for an initial £73m, rising to up to £91.3m.
People have questioned the timing of Sancho’s respiratory illness this week as information about United’s bid came to light. We are told this is simply a coincidence.
Sancho did not agitate for a move after United’s bid was rejected out of hand 50 days after their deadline passed. There was nothing for the player to agitate for.
He is focused on playing for Dortmund, any change will have to come from the United end.
If United can match Dortmund’s asking price, the Bundesliga club are expected to again reject the bid but that could lead to Sancho finally agitating for the move.
Nobody at Manchester United is telling me they have bailed on the deal, they are still very much interested. There is a realisation Dortmund are digging their heels in over their price. There is a realism at United that it will be a tricky deal to do, there is a huge gap in economics between the two sides.
I wonder whether there is time to bridge that gap. United do have a history of bringing in late deals, most recently with Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire.
They have spent the most money out of any European club out of the last three windows, but I have said for weeks I do not see Ed Woodward and United writing a £100m cheque for Sancho unless something dramatically changes in their thinking.
I think they will be pursuing some of their alternatives, that is going on there is no doubt about it.
The likes of Luka Jovic, Ousmane Dembele, Ismail Sarr and Edinson Cavani – all of those players have good reasons to perhaps come to United but there are more reasons to not.
Cavani’s length of contract and wages and Dembele would be preferred as a loan. Watford’s Sarr would be an interesting one because their is more wiggle room with an extended deadline for deal with Championship clubs.
I do not think there is a great deal of optimism right now but that does not mean United can pull something out of the water.
I expect them to bring someone else in if they do not get Sancho in time.
Borussia Dortmund are not saying whether they expect another bid or not, but even if they receive a bid which meets their valuation, they say they will not be selling Sancho in this transfer window.
I spent the day at Dortmund’s training ground, there is one way in and one way out. Sancho did not turn up for coronavirus testing from midday and then missed the scheduled training with the rest of the team at 4pm.
We understand he turned up later in the afternoon, had a coronavirus test and then did some individual training. He is not on strike.
The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5.
A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday October 16 at 5pm.