Manchester United’s move for Jadon Sancho is in danger of collapsing with Borussia Dortmund increasingly bemused by their approach to the negotiations.
According to Daily Mail, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc bullishly claimed on Monday that Sancho will play for the Bundesliga side this season and the decision was final.
And Dortmund’s belief that they can retain the England star has been strengthened by developments during the process which have left them questioning how much United want to land the 20 year-old winger.
While there was direct contact between the clubs pre-Covid that has now dried up.
And though the Old Trafford giants claimed they were worried about the slow progress of talks Dortmund have yet to receive a bid or even an indication of United’s starting point for the fee negotiations, delaying attempts to find a compromise.
Dortmund have been firm from the outset in their demand for a fee of £108m.
United’s finger pointing at the players’ camp and claims about wage demands raised eyebrows in Germany, given the need to persuade them about a move to Old Trafford, while suggestions they have insisted on the involvement of agent Marco Lichtsteiner in the deal have been rebuffed too.
Meanwhile, United’s contract offers have also caused real surprise and created further doubt about the deal at Dortmund.
Sportsmail understands United’s first contract proposal would have involved Sancho taking a wage cut and their second was similar to the deal he is currently on worth up to £190,000-per-week.
Last week there was optimism that an agreement on terms and a five-year deal was close and that the discussions over the transfer were heading in the right direction.
Talks to sort out the personal terms element of the deal remain ongoing, with Sancho not seeking a deal that would break United’s wage structure, though the fee remains the major sticking point.
United believe Dortmund’s valuation is unrealistic, especially in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, and are refusing to be pushed into doing a deal on another club’s terms.
The onus is now on United to resurrect the situation with Dortmund more than willing to keep Sancho who has no plans to agitate for a move, especially one that is not currently on the table.
Another pressing issue is that this summer represents United’s best hope of a clear run at Sancho due to the competition they would face in 12 months’ time.
Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele, Bayern Munich Kingsley Coman and Juventus’ Douglas Costa are among their alternatives.
But Sancho remains their No 1 target after lighting up the Bundesliga since his £10m move from Manchester City in 2017; and United would be reluctant to walk away from the deal.
Sancho has been involved in 77 goals in just 99 senior games for Dortmund, scoring 34 and setting up 43 more, becoming an England international and establishing himself as one of Europe’s most exciting prospects along the way.
United trained at Viktoria Koln on Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s Europa League semi-final against Sevilla in Cologne, having chosen the German third division club’s facilities ahead of fourth tier Fortuna Koln.
It will be United’s third semi of the season after losing out to Chelsea and Manchester City in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to go one better.
‘Reaching semi-finals is a good effort, decent, but it’s not good enough for Man United,’ said Solskjaer on Wednesday.
‘Let’s make sure the hurt that we felt in the two other cups we went out of can be the marginal difference, in that we want it more than them.
‘It’s like a European Championship or a World Cup: you don’t get a second chance, there is no tomorrow. You just know you have to leave everything on that pitch.’