Manchester United were left red-faced when they tried to call Borussia Dortmund’s bluff on Jadon Sancho. The Red Devils made their move to sign the winger but were ultimately told by Dortmund that he was going nowhere, beyond the August 10 deadline.
United seemed destined to land the England international, who was eagerly awaiting the chance to move to Old Trafford this summer.
The opportunity never came though with United only bidding £90m for Sancho, some £18m below the £108m quotation.
The entire saga is said to have bemused Dortmund, who made their demands clear to United at the beginning of the transfer window.
According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, United were left shocked when they were told by Dortmund that they wouldn’t be changing their mind.
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He said on Ask Ornstein: “Dortmund set a deadline of early August, that then got pushed back to August 10.
“It came and went without any progress, so Dortmund said ‘it’s case closed, you missed your chance and he’s staying with us until at least 2021’.
“It was around that time that United contacted Dortmund and said ‘is this for real?’ and the kind of message back was ‘yeah, what else did you expect?’
“United could stand accused of misreading the situation or calling Dortmund’s buff unsuccessfully, not believing them.
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“I can kind of understand why they’ve done that, in previous times we’ve seen Dortmund say similar things publicly only to end up selling at the end of the window in the cases of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele.”
While the forward is unlikely to have solved all of United’s problems, it’s a signing that may have helped the team reach the next level.
The No 7 shirt was ready and waiting for Sancho but now belongs to 33-year-old Edinson Cavani.
Should Sancho’s name have been printed on the back of the famous jersey, shirt sales would have skyrocketed.
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United had two elements of the transfer agreed but failed to finalise a fee with Dortmund, the most important aspect of the deal.
Agents fees were finally agreed at the start of September while the player gave United the green light at the beginning of summer.
Sancho though, was not prepared to agitate for a move out of respect for the contract that he signed last year.
United will hope they still have a clear run on Sancho next year, despite growing belief that Liverpool could enter the fray.
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