Borussia Dortmund have handed Manchester United a deadline if they wish to complete the signing of England winger Jadon Sancho this summer, a player the Old Trafford club have been targeting for many months.
Sancho is arguably Europe’s brightest young star and, despite only turning 20 in March, finished the 2019/20 season with 40 combined goals and assists in 44 appearances across all competitions.
United have lacked a real specialist for the right flank since before Antonio Valencia was converted into a full-back and Sancho could be the perfect addition to an attacking unit already brimming with young talent in Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.
The very latest on the saga comes from Bild reporter Christian Falk, who claims Dortmund have given United an ultimatum in negotiations that any deal must be concluded by 10 August.
The English transfer window is expected to be open well into September because of the delayed finished to 2019/20, but the 2020/21 Bundesliga season will begin on 21 August and Dortmund will understandably refuse to sell any later given the potential knock-on effects.
90min first revealed back in September that United are confident of securing a deal to sign Sancho in 2020 and has been privately open to the move from the beginning.
90min also told you in February that Sancho had been made to feel so wanted by United that even the possibility of missing out on Champions League football next season would not impact his decision and he is ‘excited’ about the prospect of making the move.
That viewpoint was later supported by what Raphael Honigstein of The Athletic reported in April, explaining that Sancho is attracted to the prospect of a starring role in a developing team.
“I think United, certainly want a player of his appeal and prospect to build a new squad around. He’s English and that’s part of their thinking,” Honigstein said.
“Manchester United can’t promise titles to Sancho straight away. But they can promise him to be the leading star in a new team that is emerging. From what I’ve been told that is quite appealing to him.”
United were always unwilling to be beaten on price with regard to Sancho and were originally prepared to pay up to £120m to make sure they won the race for his signature. Even after executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward gave a stark warning that no clubs will be immune from the financial impact of coronavirus, he insisted his side will remain competitive in the market.
90min then revealed that United dropped their ceiling on Sancho to below £100m, feeling the deal was no longer worth as much in the current climate. They are, however, still prepared to break their own British transfer record of £89m, putting a potential deal for Sancho between £90m and £99m.
A source told 90min at the time, “United have a financially sound plan, and that is being tweaked which will mean some deals will be cheaper for them. But, by the same token, possible player sales will also not be as large as they possibly thought earlier in the year.”
It was reported by the UK media at the end of June that United have informed Dortmund they are not prepared to spend in excess of £50m for Sancho. If that communication has indeed happened, it has been perceived to be a bold negotiating tactic, rather than an actual refusal to pay more.
A report from local German publication Ruhr Nachrichten over the weekend explained Dortmund are standing firm at a valuation of €120m (£108m), highlighting that more negotiating and talking needs to be done before the clubs reach an acceptable deal.