United closing in on Sancho deal
MANCHESTER United are finalising the structure of a deal to take Jadon Sancho to Old Trafford, including the number of instalments and add-ons Borussia Dortmund will receive.
Dortmund want a Premier League record fee of £108m (€120m) for the England forward and have also made it clear they intend any deal to be completed before Monday so they can fully prepare for the Bundesliga season.
It was revealed on March 2 that personal terms between United and Sancho would be straightforward once the clubs agreed a fee. Discussions have continued but there is yet to be a breakthrough.
It is understood United are willing to be patient in their attempt to land Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s top target for the summer window, which is open in England until October 5. Sancho, 20, has set his sights on a move back to England after three seasons in Germany.
Meanwhile, Alexis Sanchez could be heading back to United after their hopes of selling off the striker to Inter Milan suffered a setback amid doubts over Antonio Conte’s future.
Conte is on a collision course with Inter’s billionaire Chinese owners after the coach’s scathing criticism of the club in the wake of Saturday’s 2-0 win over Atalanta, which secured their first top-two finish for nine years.
Sanchez has rediscovered his form on loan at Inter this season and is due to make his final appearance for the Milan club in the second leg of their Europa League Round of 16 tie against Getafe tomorrow before returning to Old Trafford.
But the prospect of Inter signing the Chile striker on a permanent deal this summer has been complicated by the growing uncertainty around Conte’s position.
Tensions between Conte and the Inter hierarchy had been steadily building before his outburst on Saturday, when he accused the club of being “weak” and offering “no protection” to either him or his players.
Conte said he would need a meeting with Inter president, Steven Zhang, whose father, Zhang Jindong, owns the club.
The costs involved in trying to sign Sanchez had already made it a difficult deal for Inter to pull off but Conte’s collision course with Inter’s owners has added more obstacles. Conte has been a driving force behind the desire to turn Sanchez’s loan into a permanent transfer. Barcelona have now pulled the plug on a deal for the striker and there are few other clubs who could afford him. Manchester City have been tentatively linked but are put off by his €100 million asking price. Conte has been keen to have Sanchez (pictured) available for the latter stages of the Europa League should his side see off Getafe.
United have been unwilling to strengthen the squad of a rival for the Europa League by extending that loan although, if Inter provided assurances they would then buy Sanchez, that could yet change the picture.
However, the latest developments with Conte have further clouded the picture at a time when Sanchez’s basic £400,000 (€440,000) a week wages at Old Trafford have raised the possibility of United needing to negotiate a pay-off with the player to get him off their books. United are currently contributing around £175,000 (€195,000) a week to the cost of Sanchez’s wages at Inter. (© Daily Telegraph, London)