Manchester United have a decision to make. Pay up Borussia Dortmund’s £108 million asking price for Jadon Sancho, or walk away.
According to The Mail, the £108 million asking price is the only obstacle for United now, with personal terms and agent fees agreed.
The Evening Standard report United are reluctant to pay such a high fee.
The report states: “United are adamant they will not overpay in a market hit by Covid-19. They believe transfer prices have been depressed by around 20-30 per cent.”
Is this really true?
There will always be exceptions, but clubs are still paying big fees, and often above market value.
Aston Villa this week agreed to pay £33 million to Brentford for Ollie Watkins, a striker who has never played above Championship level before.
This is above market value, not below it. Elsewhere there have been other big deals.
Manchester City spent big to sign Nathan Ake from relegated Bournemouth for £40 million
Goal reported how Napoli paid in the region of £60 million for Lille striker Victor Osimhen.
Wolves have just paid £35 million to Porto to sign young striker Fabio Silva, a striker who has just one league start to his name.
These fees vary in size, but very few of them, possibly the exception of Osimhen, can be considered a bargain.
When unproven players like Watkins and Silva are signing for Premier League clubs for fees of £30 million plus, United cannot really expect to land Sancho on the cheap.
Sancho has 30 Bundesliga goals to his name already, becoming the quickest player in league history to reach that tally.
Last season he contributed a combined 38 goals and assists. His quality and productivity are exceptional for a 20-year-old, and he is one of the favourites to win this year’s prestigious Golden Boy award.
United’s reservations over a depressed market are ringing hollow. Clubs are spending money, often paying over the odds for players. United were quoted a staggering £40 million for Bournemouth for David Brooks.
Perhaps it will transpire that United are more comfortable spending £40 million than £108 million, but this would feel like a letdown.
United did manage to get Sporting to drop their demands over Bruno Fernandes earlier this year, and Crystal Palace for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but were unsuccessful in getting Leicester to lower their asking price for Harry Maguire, and ended up paying the money.
If United miss out on Sancho for the sake of quibbling over £10-20 million, it would be a big disappointment, and in the eyes of many, unforgivable.
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