Manchester United are refusing to give up on their pursuit of Jadon Sancho despite Borussia Dortmund insisting that the winger will not be leaving the club this summer.
Sancho is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s No 1 transfer target this summer, with talks having begun over the future of the 20-year-old.
Dortmund, however, set their own deadline of 10 August to finalise a transfer as they set off for their pre-season training camp in Switzerland.
Sancho was named in Lucien Favre’s squad for the trip, and with a deal not agreed upon, sporting director Michael Zorc seemed to suggest on Monday that United’s hopes of signing Sancho were over.
‘Jadon Sancho will play with us next season,’ he told reporters. ‘The decision is final. I think that answers all the questions.
‘Last summer we adjusted Jadon’s salary to match the development of his performances. So, in context, we had already extended his contract until 2023 back then.’
It is understood Sancho is keen on a move to Old Trafford and that United have not given up hope of landing the former Manchester City man despite Zorc’s comments.
However, United are frustrated at the pace of discussions, which are being managed, at Dortmund’s request, by an independent agent.
Player wages and agent fees continue to pose a problem in negotiations, and United are wary of making the same mistake they did with Alexis Sanchez, where his huge £560,000-a-week wages ended up ripping up the whole salary structure at the club.
It is understood Dortmund are holding out for a fee of €120 million (£108m/$142m) for Sancho, but United believe that is not a realistic figure given the state of their finances due to the impact of Covid-19.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has repeatedly warned it will ‘not be business as usual in this summer’s window’, with United being forced to reassess the market despite their huge wealth.
United believe that the 10 August deadline set by Dortmund was merely arbitrary and they still believe a deal can be agreed before the transfer window closes on 5 October.
They are, however, willing to walk away should it prove too difficult to come to a compromise on price, with other players such as Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman seen as alternatives.
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