BBC Sport were among the many outlets reporting the deadline Borussia Dortmund apparently set Manchester United over Jadon Sancho.
It was claimed that Dortmund wanted Sancho’s future resolved by 10 August, so they could prepare for the new season without distraction.
That deadline passed on Monday and Sancho was part of the Dortmund training camp ahead of the new campaign.
On top of that, Dortmund supremo Michael Zorc stated Dortmund’s ‘final’ decision that Sancho is going nowhere, as per Sky Sports.
However, they also report United were undeterred by this artificial deadline, with weeks of the transfer window remaining.
But have United made an expensive miscalculation?
The latest from footballer turned journalist Jan Aage Fjortoft is that it is ‘carved in stone’ now that Sancho will be a Dortmund player next season.
Some fans may choose to ignore this latest update as yet another bluff from the German outfit.
It’s important not to overreact to every little tweet and update during a transfer saga which has already run for weeks.
But we’re not talking about a player they want to sell here, and it’s not as if they’re playing tricks to raise the asking price. That has been set since the start.
With Sancho not exactly agitating for a move and United seemingly still not budging on their unwillingness to pay the release clause up front, has Ed Woodward got it wrong?
United’s dangerous assumption
The latest update indicates it may well have been arrogance on United’s part to assume that a deal could still be done for Sancho once they had decided to disregard Dortmund’s timeframe for any potential transfer.
A potential counter argument is that if United paid the £108m (Sky) asking price up front tomorrow, would Dortmund really say no?
Until United do, we’ll never know. But even then, Dortmund may keep faith that Sancho will retain his value for at least another season, giving them greater time to secure a replacement.
By then, other elite clubs might have got their finances together. Sancho could light up the rearranged European Championship, making him more valuable yet still in 2021.
Dortmund are master negotiators, and United have bungled a lot of transfer business in the last seven years.
United tried calling the bluff of Leicester City and Sporting over Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes, but it was us who blinked first; eventually paying the original fee, but robbing both players of vital time to get used their new surroundings. It didn’t work.
United are banking on the same tactics here, but with a higher asking price on the table and a more uncertain financial backdrop, the arrogance of our transfer team may have cost us again.
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