Manchester United famously lost out on 20-year-old Haaland to Dortmund in January 2020 and then failed to prise the 21-year-old England star from the Bundesliga club the following summer.
But with Covid-19 taking its toll and Dortmund lying seven points off a Champions League place with only seven games left, their finances are stretched. CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke recently suggested they might have to sell one of their two ‘jewels’ but he is now backtracking on that statement.
In an interview with DAZN, Watzke clearly sounded a ‘hands off’ warning in regard to Haaland but opened the door to an exit for Sancho.
‘Because of our existing credit lines, we can say: regardless of what happens this season and next, we don’t have to apply for a loan, make any emergency sales or layoffs. We are under no pressure, which is a good starting position in this day and age,’ he said.
‘[Re Haaland,] we do not have a parallel plan … we also want him to be happy to stay with us, to score goals for BVB next year with conviction. There is no alternative plan.
‘Jadon Sancho has been with us significantly longer than Erling Haaland. We will also have to talk to Jadon. If there is an exceptional offer, then we will discuss it with the player and his agent, as always.’
Recent stories have claimed that Dortmund have slapped a €150 million (€128m) asking price on Haaland, whose £64 million buyout clause only becomes active in 2022. They clearly would prefer to lose Sancho this summer, giving them another year to source a replacement for Haaland.
In regard to Sancho, though, the same question remains: what does Watzke deem ‘an exceptional offer’? United are almost certainly not going to come close to the £100 million price being touted last summer, so will Dortmund be realistic and drop the price to a more realistic one? Only time will tell.