The transfer window silly season is in full swing as the transfer deadline approaches on Monday, and no transfer saga has been sillier than that of Jadon Sancho to Manchester United. On Tuesday, there were reported developments in negotiations between United and Borussia Dortmund, but what those developments were...well, that much is not as clear.
According to some reports, United submitted their first official bid for Sancho this week, which was promptly rejected by Dortmund for being below the asking price. Sky Sports reported that “the offer was for an initial £73m, rising to up to £91.3m, which fell short of Dortmund’s £108m valuation.”
The Bundesliga club have long made their stance clear that Sancho’s transfer fee was non-negotiable, and if other reports are to believed, United did not even get as far as an actual bid. According to Fabrizio Romano in The Guardian, United were “preparing” a bid before it was communicated to them by intermediaries that it would be a waste of time.
“Borussia Dortmund have told Manchester United there is no point in bidding less than €120m (£109.6m) for Jadon Sancho after discussions between the clubs on Tuesday. United were preparing a €90m offer for the England international but were told that would not be sufficient and that Dortmund do not want to sell.”
United have been briefing for months that they thought that Dortmund’s stance was unrealistic in the current market, and have been happy to let their contacts in the media know that they were “relaxed” and prepared to wait for the latter days of the window — clearly expecting that Dortmund’s stance would soften. That now looks to be folly.
Adding to the drama of this tedious transfer saga is the somewhat mysterious absence of Sancho from Dortmund’s Super Cup squad on Wednesday. The reported reason is “respiratory infection”, according to Dortmund (who added that the 20-year-old tested negative for Covid-19 this week), but the timing of it obviously raises the possibility that Sancho may be putting pressure on Dortmund to negotiate his exit.