Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward seemingly has a plan to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund this summer but instead of playing ball with the German club and getting the deal done before their deadline of the 10 August, which was the day the club travelled to their pre-season training camp in Switzerland, United seemingly let that run down, perhaps having a cunning plan ahead of the clubs summer transfer business.
Journalist Jan Aage Fjortoft seems to think that United might still sign Sancho despite the club sounding defiant in their statement on Monday which confirmed that the club ‘planned’ to have Sancho for the 2020/21 season. Although, to me that did not sound all that convincing. When you use the word plan, it hardly seems defiant. Surely if you were 100% sure that a player was no longer going to be sold, the word plan would not have been used to describe that. That is just me thinking about words used, which might have helped form my opinion of it.
However, Fjortoft seems to think that this could still have something to it. United, at the moment would need to pay £108 million for the English winger, which is a lot of money to be spending during the current financial climate which seems to have been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic and will continue to affect clubs as long as supporters are kept out of stadiums. The German club’s defiance might be something that United are playing with but the Norwegian journalist feels that a deal could still be done.
There is no putting this nicely but Dortmund are a selling club. They buy players for small fees, not all the time in the case of Erving Haaland, but end up selling them for inflated fees based on their development. I am not ridiculing what the German club do but you cannot suggest they do not do it. Over the years they have sold some great players who they took a chance with. Robert Lewandowski will be the only player that that does not apply to as he left the club as a free agent. Fjortoft, speaking to ESPN and reported by The Mirror, said:
“I think the problem for Dortmund is going into the summer they hoped there was going to be a lot of bidders. The price tag of €120million was given to him when they thought there would be more clubs in for him. Now there is only Manchester United.
“Manchester United need that kind of player and to get the hottest property in this transfer window will make them look very good. Believe me, this Zorc statement, they feel like they want to keep the player.
“Like I have said many times, Sancho has got to confirm this. There is a great dialogue between the player and the club. I get the feeling this will drag on for another couple of weeks.
“I believe Zorc with what he is saying. He is not lying. Zorc’s problem is that he said the same things about [Ousmane] Dembele and [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and he got stick for that.
“The big problem today is that they gave him a better contract last summer and they extended that by one year. I would wait until they have a Jadon Sancho press conference where he says ‘I can’t wait to play another year with Dortmund’. Then I will believe Zorc.”
If what Fjortoft has said is right, it would seem that United have a chance to sign the player this summer. Of course, the German club will not turn down £108 million (€120 million) for the player – as long as they have the time to bring in a replacement. If United come in on the 5 October, which is the day the transfer window closes, the answer will be no. However, if they come in a lot earlier, say in a week or two, it might all be different for them. Dortmund are preparing for the new season and they will want to challenge Bayern Munch. They could do that with or without Sancho, United will need to make up their minds up as to whether they want him and what about they will pay for the player.
Written by John Walker