Borussia Dortmund have turned down an offer worth €100m from Manchester United for Jadon Sancho, in the latest twist to a transfer saga that has dragged on for over a year.
The Red Devils have long been admirers of Sancho, and talk over a move to Old Trafford has been rampant over the past few months.
BVB have remained adamant that Sancho will not be allowed to leave the Bundesliga giants unless United pay up in full, despite the best efforts of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
No official bid has been lodged up to this point, despite the ongoing rumours, but Sky Germany now report that Dortmund have turned down an €80m (£73m) offer, which would have risen to €100m with add-ons (£91.3m).
That figure remains someway short of Dortmund’s valuation of €120m (£108m), which has yet to waiver. United now have six days to stump of the cash, or risk losing out on a player who has been their primary target.
In a surprise twist, reports in Spain have claimed that United’s attention has already turned to Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, suggesting that a deal around €50m-€60m could be agreed.
Leading Spanish publication AS suggest a deal is viable, despite Barça’s initial reluctance to sell, because the Catalan giants still need to raise additional funds through player sales.
That would pave the way for Memphis Depay to complete his long awaited move to Camp Nou, where he’d reunite with former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman, who took charge at the club this summer.
Mundo Deportivo go as far as saying that United laid down an offer to Dembele ten days ago, but the Frenchman himself is keen to make a success of his spell at Barcelona, which has thus far been blighted by serious injury after serious injury.
However, those Spanish reports are countered by information closer to home, which indicate that Dembele is in United’s thoughts as a loan option only.
It’s also claimed by David Ornstein that discussions over Sancho are taking place between intermediaries, rather than club officials.
Dortmund’s stance is not surprising, given they’ve maintained all summer long that Sancho won’t be leaving the club unless their terms are met, but does call into question the negotiating tactics of Woodward, who has long hoped that the long game would allow United to lower his price.
It’s still possible for a deal to be struck, but United will now have to consider the very real possibility that Sancho will only join if the magic €120m mark is reached.