Manchester United are likely to postpone their move for Jadon Sancho until 2021, according to The Mirror.
The 20-year-old is one of the hottest properties in world football. He has scored an incredible 17 goals and provided 19 assists in 35 matches this season and registered 31 goals and 42 assists in 134 games overall for the German side.
United are believed to be in pole position to sign the winger but The Mirror claims that Borussia Dortmund are holding out for ‘in excess of £100m’, a figure which the Red Devils consider unrealistic in the current financial climate.
‘United clearly have concerns about spending that level of money not just from a financial point of view but how it would be viewed by society’ the outlet says.
‘That has left Dortmund beginning to think 20-year-old Sancho may yet stay for another year until 2021 and have already begun planning along those lines.’
‘But they are also very happy for him to stay and would not suddenly begin to entertain lower bids so it would be up to United to meet their price or potentially have to wait a year.’
If The Mirror’s report is true, it represents a huge gamble for the Red Devils. Whilst leaving negotiations until summer 2021 would bring them to within the final year of Sancho’s contract, potentially strengthening their hand, they would run the risk of other big clubs reigniting their interest in the England star and losing that pole position they had worked so hard to claim.
In addition, another successful year at Dortmund might inflate Sancho’s asking price even further.
The delay would also leave United unbalanced for yet another season, with no natural right winger in the squad, unless they bought or loaned a stop-gap specialist.
It is possible that the report has been leaked by executive vice chairman Ed Woodward’s PR firm to rattle Dortmund. There has already been a great deal of posturing on both sides. The German club’s CEO Hans Joachim Watzke said recently ‘I’ll state clearly, that no rich club should think that during this existential crisis they can steal players from us. We don’t have to sell anyone for less than they’re worth’. Woodward meanwhile has said ‘I cannot help feeling that speculation around transfers of individual players for hundreds of millions of pounds this summer seems to ignore the realities that face the sport.’
The pair are likely to keep rucking for months to come, with Sancho an unwilling pawn in a game of whose executive officer is the biggest.
United might have to finish their Premier League season at neutral grounds as the authorities try to ensure player safety. How much do you know about those neither-home-nor-away games the Red Devils have played in the past? Take our quiz below to find out.