Manchester United face the increasingly-likely prospect of missing out on Jadon Sancho with Borussia Dortmund ready to take an even tougher transfer stance.
The transfer saga which has been in the headlines all summer has hardly shown any sign of a resolution.
Borussia Dortmund may well have hoped their August 10 deadline would have seen the end of the speculation. However, even after club officials claimed Sancho would not be sold this summer, the talk has continued.
As things stand, Sancho remains United’s No 1 target. They still remain ‘hopeful’ of securing his signing before the window shuts on October 5. Indeed, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was keeping the faith amid this claim from a well-connected journalist.
Dortmund, though, have been steadfast in their belief that Sancho won’t be allowed to leave on the cheap. They have been adamant that he won’t leave for a penny less than their €120m asking price. That £108m fee would represent a transfer record for United.
However, United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is believed to see the fee as being too high.
Furthermore, the United chief had reportedly been hoping that with, time running out in the transfer window, Dortmund’s stance would soften.
There did come renewed hope for United last week when the Telegraph claimed the clubs had agreed to end their “impasse over agents’ fees and wages”.
Despite that ‘breakthrough’, however, a deal for the England winger looks further away than ever.
That’s after Bundesliga expert Kevin Hatchard claimed Sancho’s asking price could be increased by Dortmund.
He tweeted: “Been told today there is no prospect of #bvb lowering their valuation of Jadon Sancho, which is believed to be around 120 million euros, and there is even a possibility that they may ask for more.
“As I’ve said for weeks, if #mufc strategy is to pressure Dortmund, it’s failing.”
“Never say never. But our understanding now is that it is more unlikely than likely. Manchester United are not willing to meet the £108m valuation that Borussia Dortmund have,” said Sheth.
“The reason I say never say never is because despite the fact that United have made it clear they are looking at alternatives. The likes of Douglas Costa at Juventus and Ivan Perisic at Inter Milan and Kingsley Coman.
“The one thing that has not come across is that they are not pursuing Sancho anymore. That has not been relayed to us in any shape or form. They have said they are looking at alternatives, but they haven’t said they have given up on Sancho.”
Fellow Sky reporter James Cooper is also insistent that United will not crack at the last minute and agree to pay Dortmund’s asking price.
“There are games involved in transfers,” Cooper told Sky Sports News.
“Manchester United have had all sorts of pursuits for all sorts of players and one of the things that is thrown at them quite regularly is the last two major signings they made at Old Trafford – Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes – where they stamped their feet, said they wouldn’t pay and then finally they ended up paying exactly what both those clubs, Leicester and Sporting Lisbon, wanted.
“I’ve been told this morning that won’t be the case with Jadon Sancho.
“There won’t be a kind of capitulation last minute with Manchester United writing that £100m cheque that we’ve talked about. I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Sancho ‘brilliant’ in training
What might have made United’s cause easier would have been if Sancho was forcing the issue in Germany.
But according to Bundesliga expert Jan Aage Fjortoft Sancho is behaving “brilliantly” in Borussia Dortmund training.
The 20-year-old played in Dortmund’s 5-0 German Cup win over Duisburg on Monday and scored the opening goal from the penalty spot.
Fjortoft confirms that Dortmund are not budging on their asking price and claims Sancho seems to be happy at the Westfalenstadion.
“So here are the facts,” Fjortoft told ESPN FC.
“Dortmund said, you have to come in for him before August 10 – check, not happening.
“Then they said if you want to get him, you have to spend €120m. There’s not even a bid in there [from United].
“Maybe they have agreed with the player but all reports from Dortmund, and I talk to a lot of people there, he is brilliant in training, good mood, he is brilliant.”