Manchester United are still interested in signing Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, despite failing to complete a deal for the England star during summer transfer window, and have been tipped to go back in for him in January or next summer.
United had long expressed confidence of signing priority target Sancho, who was seen as the ideal solution for the longstanding void on the right flank.
Sancho was interested in making the switch to Old Trafford and personal terms were agreed. But Dortmund stood firm over their €120m valuation and United officials have since been revealed to have badly misjudged the situation, expecting that price to drop. It did not.
It represents a significant lack of transfer market acumen to fail to read the signals. It has even been suggested that had United actually met the asking price at the very end of the window, it would have brought questions from a bemused Sancho over why it took so long.
The Manchester Evening News writes that the 20-year-old remains on United’s transfer shortlist and are expected to launch a fresh attempt to sign him next summer instead. A January approach could also be possible, but Dortmund would be less likely to sanction a sale mid-season.
By next summer, Sancho will have only two years left on his contract in Germany, slightly weakening the very strong position that Dortmund found themselves in this summer. However, by failing to get it done this year, United have lost what was effectively a free run at the player and other clubs are expected to have sufficiently financially recovered in 2021 to make rival approaches.
United did eventually consider high profile alternatives late in the transfer window. Teenage wingers Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo did sign, although the latter won’t arrive until January. But a deal for Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele had deadline day potential until the player pulled the plug.
Once United couldn’t get Sancho, they always preferred a loan for any short-term alternative. But while Barcelona were initially only interested in selling, their need to raise cash to sign ex-United flop Memphis Depay saw them forced to compromise.
According to the Daily Mail, a compromise over Dembele was reached in the form of a ‘substantial’ loan fee and United paying the player’s wages – there was even bizarre late speculation that United could try and rush through the deal without a medical owing to the squeezed timeframe.
However, Barcelona also insisted on Dembele signing a contract extension with them before going to ensure that his value would remain high next summer if he had a good season. He refused and the deal collapsed, as did Barça’s own pursuit of Memphis.