According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United has denied having a latest £91.3m (£73m plus £18.3m in add-ons) rejected by Borussia Dortmund for Jadon Sancho.
Sky Sports first carried the story that the latest bid was rejected by the German club.
But some movement may have happened. Sancho has not flown to Munich with the rest of his team-mates for the German Super Cup date against Bayern. Adding to this major saga of intrigue, Dortmund has given the reason for the 20-year-old’s absence as a ‘respiratory infection’, and also confirmed he had tested negative for Covid-19.
A new bid was expected from United this week, but they may be holding back in an effort to save face. Another publicly rejected bid will not look good. Neither will it go down well with United’s legions of frustrated fans.
Noises coming out of Germany suggest Sancho will be sticking around for another year. Dortmund captain Marco Reus said as much to Sky in Germany today.
Other reports suggest Borussia Dortmund had been left ‘bemused’ by United’s attempts to sign the England forward.
United’s only signing of the window so far has been central midfielder Donny van de Beek from Ajax, and they may complete a deal for Porto’s Alex Telles imminently, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has suggested the club are still hoping to do more business.
That can only mean they remain hopeful regards Sancho, despite whispers emanating this evening that Ousmane Dembele could arrive on loan from Barcelona should the move for the young Englishman fail (Daily Mail).
Manchester United have clearly lost the ability to deal decisively and efficiently when it comes to big transfers. They must rue the day they let Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill retire at the same time. Transfer business has been shambolic ever since, with several major targets missed.
It’s difficult to have faith in a positive outcome for United despite Sancho’s withdrawal from the Dortmund squad. Normally such a development would serve as a huge clue towards how things might pan out, and if it were Chelsea and not United for instance, that indeed would be the case.
But given United’s series of failures under Ed Woodward, no-one connected with the club, not least the fans, is getting carried away with the development.
The situation must be driving Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer mad. It’s clear reinforcements are needed and with the deadline looming, United will have to decide upon the best time to walk away from Sancho negotiations and pursue other potential interests.
Similar situations at the beginning of a season have happened before of course, where United have panic-bought against a plan B, and ended up paying over the odds for some players due to the lateness of doing business.