Jadon Sancho’s move to Manchester United is nearly done. The Times report a deal is expected to be completed next week.

This transfer saga has tested the patience of United fans through recent years. If it seems like it has been going on a long, long while, it’s because it has.

England v Scotland - UEFA Euro 2020 - Group D
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United first linked in 2017

Manchester United were first linked with signing Jadon Sancho back in 2017 while he was a Manchester City player.

The MEN reported how United tried to lure Sancho to the club from Manchester City at the time.

This would have saved a lot of hassle and money, but a deal was always a long shot. City were reluctant to lose Sancho at all, and would not have dealt with United.

Sancho’s reasons for leaving City were also down to a lack of first team chances. A switch to Jose Mourinho’s United would not have changed his fortunes, and his move to Germany paid off.

Mega money move touted in 2018

The Mirror reported in October 2018 how Sancho’s performances at Dortmund had captured United’s attention.

But the report also warned that Dortmund wanted to keep him put and would only consider a future sale at around £100 million.

Giving up in 2019

Sancho tentatively appeared to be on United’s radar ahead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first summer transfer window in charge. Failure to qualify for the Champions League ended those hopes.

Forbes reported in June 2019 that Manchester United had ‘reluctantly accepted’ a move for Sancho would not be possible.

 

United invested big money in defensive recruits, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and signed Dan James, who always felt like a stop-gap addition who would not block Sancho’s path.

England Training Camp - Euro 2020
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Bodged it in 2020

United did qualify for the Champions League in 2020, securing a place in the competition in late July.

Dortmund still had hopes of keeping Sancho for an extra year and proved difficult to negotiate with.

United were taught a harsh lesson after refusing to pay up for Dortmund’s self-imposed August 8 deadline. After that negotiations broke off as the Bundesliga side declared him ‘not for sale’.

United still felt Dortmund’s resistance would break, but they were proved wrong.

The pandemic did not help either. United felt Dortmund’s £108 million asking price was far too excessive, and a summer deal this summer appears to be far cheaper.

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Finally in 2021?

All signs point to Sancho’s transfer to Manchester United finally getting done.

The biggest indicator was Dortmund posting promotional imagery for their forthcoming ‘virtual fan tour’ with key players, and Sancho omitted.

BBC Sport reported this week United’s latest offer is £72.6 million. It will take a slight increase to get it done, with Dortmund holding out for £77 million.

That’s a big dip in valuation and United will see it as a success to get him cheaper, with just two years remaining on his contract.

Dortmund can look at it positively too, with Sancho inspiring them to a German Cup win this season. The conundrum we will never know is if United had paid the extra for Sancho last summer, is whether he would have been the difference to win silverware this past season.

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