Manchester United’s long drawn out pursuit of Jadon Sancho finally looks to have fallen flat on its face, the two clubs having refused to budge in their valuation.
Borussia Dortmund set their stall out pretty early on that they would be willing to do a deal that would see Sancho move to Old Trafford, though only on their terms, the Bundesliga side having put a €120 million (£108m) price tag on the England international, while also setting a deadline of August 10th for a deal to be done by.
With the economics of football having been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Manchester United deemed such a valuation to be ‘unrealistic’ and somewhat arrogantly thought that they could bully their German counterparts into a deal in the belief that they would be forced to reduce their asking price as the deadline approached.
However, what they perhaps forgot is that Dortmund had no desire to lose one of their most talented and valuable players, and with three years remaining on his deal, were under no pressure to do so, the German giants remaining adamant that Sancho would not be leaving on the cheap.
Personal terms and agents fees are believed to have been agreed for a number of weeks, though United only lodged their official offer last week, and unsurprisingly, it was short of Dortmund’s asking price, the Old Trafford side said to have been hopeful that Sancho would agitate for a move.
Now, according to German-based BBC journalist Constantin Eckner, a potential deal is now ‘over’ with Dortmund having resolutely ‘stood their ground’ for a player who registered 17 goals and 16 assists in the Bundesliga last season.
It’s over. Dortmund firmly stood their ground despite serious effort by #MUFC management and Solskjær. #Sancho remains United's top target for the future. Obviously, this has affected negotiations with Barcelona over Ousmane Dembélé. https://t.co/OfpZYcPMmA
— Constantin Eckner (@cc_eckner) October 5, 2020
United’s failure to land yet another top target will likely see frustration towards the club’s hierarchy – in particular, Ed Woodward and Matt Judge – increase further, the news coming on the back of the humiliating 6-1 defeat to Spurs on Sunday afternoon.
Woodward has constantly boasted of United’s financial power, once telling investors that the club ‘can do things in the transfer market that other clubs can only dream of’, comments which are likely to be thrown back at the former investment banker following their latest transfer failing.
Since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, Woodward has consistently been accused of failing to sufficiently back managers David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, and now it seems like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is getting a taste of what his predecessors were up against.
United had been linked with a move for Ousmane Dembele as an alternative to Sancho, though reports from France have suggested that that deal is also off.
The club are however believed to be closing in on highly-rated Atalanta youngster, Amad Traore, though having only made three appearances in the Serie A, he is certainly in the ‘one for the future’ bracket rather than for the here and now.
United fans will also be concerned by the lack of reinforcements in central defence, with Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire having all received criticism in the early stages for this season, the club shipping 11 goals in their opening three Premier League games.