According to ESPN sources Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund have still not informally closed the door on a possible deal that would take Jadon Sancho from the Rohr Valley to England’s north-west.
With a week to go before the transfer window closes, Borussia Dortmund insist privately that the player will not leave in 2020 and remain at the club until next year.
But ESPN sources suggest that message has not been relayed directly to United. , prompting hope on both sides, it seems, that a deal can be reached before October 5.
Agreement in principal already exists between United and Sancho’s representatives over personal terms, but Dortmund remain steadfast in their £108m valuation of the player.
It’s clearly a game of ‘cat and mouse’ with many observers feeling the German club is willing to sell, but at the same time wanting to maximize revenue from any deal struck.
United believe the 20-year-old’s price tag is “unrealistic” during the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic but are willing to agree a structured deal that would include a series of performance-related bonuses.
This is a further sticking point. Dortmund prefers to have to have more of the fee paid up-front since they harbour concerns over add-on bonuses in light of United missing out on Champions League qualification three times since 2013.
It still seems a long-shot at this stage, with both clubs rigidly digging in their heels, but as the deadline approaches all that could change, especially if United produce another dismal performance at home to Tottenham this weekend.
United remain interested in Porto’s Brazilian left-back Alex Telles although no further developments have occurred from last week’s stalemate.
Another Brazilian, Andreas Pereira, could be on the move from United with Lazio expressing interest. The arrival of Donny van de Beek, has pushed Pereira further down the midfield pecking order.
Centre-back Chris Smalling still interests Roma, where he enjoyed an extended loan period last season. The feeling is mutual with the 30-year-old also favouring a move, but all seems to depend on United lowering their $20m price tag.
According to Sunsport, United will let Welsh winger Daniel James go on loan to Leeds United should they ever get the Sancho deal over the line. Without Sancho’s arrival however, James is seen as back-up to Mason Greenwood, and is unlikely to be permitted to move.