It’s August 10. This is the firm deadline set by Borussia Dortmund over the Jadon Sancho deal. As yet no agreement has been struck.
This deadline for the deal was reported by BBC Sport a week ago, claiming: “Dortmund have set the deadline because they want undisturbed preparation for the 2020-21 Bundesliga season.”
The actual transfer window deadline for European clubs is October 5. But it is in nobody’s interests for any deal to drag out that long.
Dortmund’s season kicks off on September 18, and they want time to buy a replacement if required.
A battle of wills
We understand transfer deals take time, and United don’t want to buckle and look weak by complying to Dortmund’s demands.
Yet United will end up looking a lot weaker if Dortmund actually stick to this, and say Sancho really is not for sale.
United are counting on this whole ‘deadline’ being a complete charade.
The thinking from United’s perspective is that in this market, nobody can afford to say no to a £100 million deal. And they are probably right.
If United lodge a bid of Dortmund’s asking price on August 11, are they really going to say no? Especially with BILD reporting Sancho has agreed personal terms at United already.
It has become a game of who blinks first. Do United pay up before this artificial deadline? Do Dortmund turn down a mega-bid from United afterwards purely on principle?
From United’s perspective this is also about price. If United can get Dortmund to buckle over a deadline they have created, Woodward might feel he can get them to lower their asking price too.
It’s a risky strategy to take when the worst case scenario is them taking him off the negotiating table altogether.
United transfers are never easy
This super-transfer has become a drawn out game, the way Ed Woodward seems to like it. It would be nice if transfers did not have to be this way.
Is it all worth it just to try and knock £10 million of the price?
United risk a war of words publicly with Dortmund, and worsening communications between the two clubs. This can’t help. It seems like an unnecessarily dangerous stance is being taken at Old Trafford.
United have had weeks to prepare for the transfer window, and it is now a fortnight since the end of the Premier League season.
Dortmund’s deadline is with good intentions. They want to hurry United up. It would be small mercy for everybody if it did force the club’s hand.
This ‘deadline day’ could give us the result we want, an agreement to sign Jadon Sancho by midnight tonight.
But the chances are we will all be waking up on August 11 wondering what happens next over Sancho, and still hearing the same rumours that talks are ongoing, with the same situation in a week’s time, or even at the end of the month.
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