Chelsea’s capture of Kai Havertz in a deal worth £90m, including add-ons, won’t just be significant at Stamford Bridge. It is a transfer that promises to also shape how the rest of the summer window will play out elsewhere, with particular note to the Jadon Sancho saga.
Following the impact of the coronavirus crisis and the knock-on effect on football finances, there has been a unique uncertainty over what valuations of players should actually be.
Manchester United were once willing to pay up £120m to secure Sancho’s signature this summer, but everything changed when the 2019/20 season was put on hold for several months. Clubs missed out on millions in lost revenue – United among them – and 90min revealed back in early May that the Old Trafford side no longer felt comfortable breaking the £100m barrier in the current climate.
United were willing to improve on the club record £89m they paid for Paul Pogba in 2016, still falling short of Borussia Dortmund’s valuation of Sancho. But with Havertz moving it gives the transfer market as a whole a benchmark for high profile transfers ahead of October’s deadline.
Depending on whether they are perceived as more or less valuable than Havertz, the price of any big name player can now be judged against the £90m fee Chelsea have agreed with Bayer Leverkusen.
As such, 90min understands that Dortmund are confident that United will increase their offer for Sancho as a result of the business Chelsea have conducted to sign Havertz.
People within the game accept that Sancho has a higher valuation than Havertz, which therefore now gives Dortmund a tangible indicator to justify their higher demands. The Bundesliga side have been seeking a figure of €120m, or £108m.
Negotiations have stalled since the two clubs have been unable to agree over the proposed transfer fee, yet there is a possibility that the Havertz proceedings could help break the impasse. United have been hesitant with that they are willing to offer but may now have little choice but to increase it.
Those close to the Sancho negotiations believe Chelsea’s Havertz deal will serve to bring United and Dortmund back to the negotiating table. And United, while previously reluctant to break through the £100m barrier are now at least considering reaching that mark.
Even though it still falls short of Dortmund’s £108m target, there is a belief from the United side that £100m, or close to it, would at least pique interest at Westfalenstadion.
A source with knowledge of the situation explained to 90min, “United know with the Havertz deal, they can’t reasonably insist that Sancho is worth the same or even less, although by the same token they don’t see the gulf being huge – but this could push United up towards the £100m mark which they believe would get Dortmund thinking.”
Despite the capture of Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek, Sancho is United’s primary target this summer and the club have been working on laying the groundwork for a deal for the past year. There are even visions of Sancho taking the currently vacant iconic number seven shirt.
The player himself wants to join United and has informed Dortmund that is case. However, he accepts it won’t happen this summer unless there is an improved offer from Manchester. At least now, bizarrely thanks to Chelsea and Havertz, it may actually happen.