The saga of the summer ultimately ended without a happy conclusion for Manchester United, their well-documented pursuit of Jadon Sancho failing to result in the player’s Premier League return.
Despite months of speculation, the Borussia Dortmund winger will remain with the club until January at least, with Manchester United‘s unsuccessful pursuit having reportedly left the player feeling ‘undervalued’ and leaving Dortmund ‘annoyed’.
Sancho had been identified as the club’s number one transfer target as the Red Devils sought to bolster their right-wing with one of Europe’s most talented young players, only for United decision-makers to ultimately fail to meet Dortmund’s demands to secure the signing of the summer.
According to The Athletic, United’s approach to a potential deal irked the Dortmund hierarchy. The Bundesliga outfit laid down their demands from the outset, insisting that any deal must be completed before August 10, with Hans-Joachim Watzke, Dortmund’s chief executive, even phoning United early in the summer to inform them of their position on Sancho’s potential sale.
United considered the €120 million (£108m) valuation to be ‘unrealistic’ and their deadline to be ‘artificial’, the Red Devils continuing their pursuit in the belief that the asking price would drop closer to the actual transfer deadline on October 5. However, that stance is said to have made Dortmund’s position to become all the more ‘entrenched’ for a player who netted 17 goals and provided 16 assists in the league last season.
— utdreport (@utdreport) October 4, 2020
Given the economic effects of the pandemic, United eventually made a move of around £80 million-plus add-ons in mid-September, though the report says that the €120m asking price had already been adjusted to take the pandemic into account, having initially wanted closer to the €147m they received from Barcelona for Ousmane Dembele.
Meanwhile, United’s dithering also reportedly left Sancho feeling ‘undervalued’ by his suitors, their reluctance to meet his asking price and the initial offering of a wage which was ‘slightly less’ than his salary at Dortmund leading the player to question the potential move.
Sancho has close ties with Manchester following his spell at Manchester City and was ‘prepared’ to join United, though it is said that he was ‘not desperate’ to make the move with his options only likely to be increased next summer.
United could of course return with an offer in January, but the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to mean finances will remain tight, no timeframe yet set for the return of fans to Premier League grounds.
This summer’s struggle in securing a deal for Sancho could also mean United miss out on his signing altogether with several of Europe’s leading clubs – financially cautious in the midst of the pandemic – tipped to join the chase in a year’s time.