Jadon Sancho’s mindset was a deciding factor in negotiations to bring him to Manchester United and there ‘would have been a problem’ had he been required to return to Borussia Dortmund for pre-season training, according to a new report.
The Athletic claims that ‘He had no intention of returning to Dortmund’ and that ‘there was a feeling that he and his camp had conducted themselves faultlessly throughout the process this year and last, so now it was Dortmund’s turn to reciprocate.’
The outlet also claims that England manager Gareth Southgate’s benching of the 21-year-old for the group stages of Euro 2020 strengthened United’s side of negotiations considerably:
‘“Frankly not to our disadvantage,” is how one United source described Sancho’s place on the England bench,’ the report claims.
‘Had Sancho starred at the Euros, Dortmund could have hardened on an initial demand for €100 million and put pressure on United to get the deal done on more favourable terms.’
In fact, the report suggests that having got Sancho for some £30 million less than last year’s asking price, United’s negotiators feel they have been proven right in waiting a year.
Another element in negotiations was the presence of outgoing executive vice chairman, Ed Woodward, The Athletic claims.
‘Woodward also has a prior relationship with Watzke from European Club Association functions, so while Dortmund directors may harbour ill-feeling over [the European Super League], it would have done them no good to allow any grudges to affect talks over Sancho.
‘Woodward and Watzke were the chief points of contact, mainly exchanging WhatsApp messages and occasionally placing telephone calls as prospective numbers were sent back and forth.
‘That was different to last year, when negotiations ran through Sancho’s agent Emeka Obasi and independent intermediary Marco Lichtsteiner.’
The Athletic also confirms in the article that it remains unclear whether there are bonus payments and add-ons included in the deal.
‘Some in Germany claim there are add-ons worth €15 million, with United liable for another €5 million if United win the Premier League, €5 million if the Champions League arrives at Old Trafford, and €1 million per occasion Solskjaer’s side qualify for Europe’s elite club competition, capped at €5 million,’ they report.
‘But multiple sources state there are no add-ons.’
When Sancho finally does put pen to paper on the deal, it will bring to a close a saga that has been rumbling on since 2019, when, the report says, United decided that ‘the approach was too complex.. and instead bolstered Solskjaer’s wing options with Dan James.’