United threaten to scrap Sancho deal
Dortmund urged to lower £108m asking fee for winger Solskjaer will not overpay after £150m pandemic blow
Manchester United have warned Borussia Dortmund they are willing to walk away from a move for Jadon Sancho unless the German club lower their £108 million demands for the England winger.
understands that the Covid-19 crisis has cost United more than £150million in lost income and expenditure and the club feel Dortmund’s valuation of Sancho is unrealistic in the current climate.
A recent KPMG Football Benchmark report estimated that revenue losses in Europe’s big five leagues could exceed £3.6 billion and United are prepared to pursue alternative targets unless a reasonable compromise can be reached with Dortmund.
United have seen some of the prices paid for players this summer – such as Timo Werner’s £47.5million move from RB Leipzig to Chelsea and Bayern Munich’s £55million capture of Leroy Sane from Manchester City – and believe the price tag being put on Sancho does not reflect a much-changed market.
Sancho is still United’s No1 summer transfer target – manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s interest in the 20-year-old dates back more than 18 months – and the club remain hopeful of reaching an agreement. But they are adamant they will not be held to ransom, with Dortmund so far refusing to budge from their asking price.
Contrary to claims in some quarters that a deal is close to being done, the two clubs remain a considerable distance apart in their valuations.
With the transfer window open until Oct 5, United – as reported by
The Telegraph last week – will also not be bound by any artificial deadlines, despite Dortmund’s desire for a deal to be done by Monday, when they begin preparations for next season.
With Alexis Sanchez’s free transfer to Inter Milan likely to be completed today – when United face LASK in the second leg of their Europa League round-of-16 tie at Old Trafford – a huge drain on the club’s wage bill has been removed and a path has been cleared for Sancho to
Yet United have no intention of repeating some of their past mistakes.
Sanchez’s deal was worth up to £560,000 a week, including bonuses, image rights and agents’ fees, but the contract destabilised United’s wage structure.
Personal terms have yet to be agreed with Sancho and talk of a £340,000-a-week contract is outlandish. Agents’ fees are also potentially a complicating factor.
Sanchez and United have agreed to effectively rip up the remaining two years of his contract, which would have been worth as much as £55million, in return for the Chile striker receiving a pay-off.
Sanchez, 31, who has spent this season on loan at Inter, has agreed a three-year contract with the Italian club worth £6.3 million annually after tax and is due to line up for them against Getafe tonight.
United’s interest in Sancho aside, Solskjaer’s hopes of adding more players to his squad this summer are likely to hinge on who he can offload.
With seven central defenders already on United’s books, Solskjaer knows he must sell players before he can bring in another centre-half to provide quality competition to his firstchoice partnership of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.
Solskjaer has confirmed he is open to giving Chris Smalling a chance to resurrect his Old Trafford career, but the defender wants regular first-team football after an impressive season on loan at Roma.
United will listen to offers for Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones and Solskjaer could yet consider allowing another injury-prone centreback, Eric Bailly, to go out on loan in search of more regular football.
Axel Tuanzebe has also endured an injury-plagued campaign and is not due back until next month.
Luke Shaw is not expected back until next month due to an ankle injury, which will mean more opportunities for 19-year-old leftback Brandon Williams, who signed a new four-year contract with United on Tuesday until June 2024, with the option of a further 12 months.
With a 5-0 first leg advantage over LASK, United are expected to secure a quarter-final spot against Copenhagen or Istanbul Basaksehir. United have been told they will have to stay in Cologne for as long as they remain in the Europa League knockout stages, rather than be allowed to fly home.
Manchester United (probable, 4-2-3-1) Romero; Fosu-Mensah, Maguire, Bailly, Williams; McTominay, Fred; Mata, Lingard, James; Ighalo.
LASK (probable, 4-3-3) Schlager; Wiesinger, Trauner, Ramsebner, Andrade; Ranftl, Michorl, Holland; Balic, Raguz, Frieser.
Referee Tasos Sidiropoulos (Greece).
Kick-off 8pm. TV BT Sport 1.
Up in the air: Jadon Sancho’s future is uncertain as United and Dortmund are locked in talks