Exclusive - Manchester United believe that their gamble not to give in to Borussia Dortmund’s €120m (£107m) asking price for Jadon Sancho could end up paying off in 2021, with the Old Trafford club confident they can now get the England winger for notably less.
United were confident of being able to sign Sancho as early as September 2019 and signs increasingly pointed towards a summer 2020 transfer for the ex-Manchester City youngster. They were even willing to shatter their transfer record and pay up to £120m at one stage.
However, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in March and the knock-on effect it had on club revenue and the transfer budget was a key moment in the saga and United subsequently refused to go over £100m when the summer transfer window opened.
Dortmund didn’t budge from their valuation and imposed a deadline for talks in August that would allow them time to sign and integrate a replacement before the new season. But that date passed and the icy stand-off showed no sign of thawing by the time the real deadline came in October.
As 90min already confirmed in November, United are still interested in Sancho and would look again to try and strike a deal. Now, the Old Trafford hierarchy believe they are in a strong position to get a transfer over the line this year and will do so for less than £100m.
Sancho himself was keen on joining United and becoming a key part of the project, although he stopped short of submitting a formal transfer request to Dortmund. But the failed move has affected him this season and he is yet to score in the Bundesliga, compared to 17 goals last season.
90min has learned from sources that United are not worried by his loss of form and still see the 20-year-old as an ideal signing. It remains to be seen if Dortmund will actually lower the asking price, but United believe the ongoing circumstances will push the figure down.
Sancho’s representatives have made it clear they are willing to consider all options after the proposed United transfer fell through in summer. Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City have all shown interest, but none have indicated they are willing to begin a formal pursuit, while there is no suggestion that Real Madrid or Barcelona would consider making a bid.
Overall, the player’s eagerness to join United has not changed. But the club doesn’t want a repeat of last year and is eyeing an early deal, especially with the delayed European Championship taking up a block of time in the summer and potentially making it difficult to engage in talks. With that in mind, United could try and engineer an agreement before the tournament kicks off in June.