At first glance, Jadon Sancho and Chris Smalling do not appear to have much in common. But the pair are actually in very similar situations.
It is no secret that United want the England winger and are happy to wave goodbye to the centre-back. Yet price-tags are holding up both potential moves.
As reported by the Mirror, United do not want to pay £108 million for Sancho. That is no surprise given football’s economic hit this year.
Yet Sancho is one of the game’s hottest prospects and United cannot simply expect to drag their feet and secure a late discount.
Ed Woodward cannot feel aggrieved about Sancho when he is refusing to sell Smalling for anything less than his perceived value.
Roma want the defender back after a successful loan spell. And United are willing to say goodbye if they get what they are asking for.
As reported by the Guardian, United want at least £18million for Smalling. At present, Roma have only offered £11million.
The Italians are expected to return with an improved bid but United cannot complain if it is less than the £18m they want.
After all, they have spent the entire summer failing to pay what it takes to get Sancho.
In short, a club wants what they want. That is the same if it is one of the most talented youngsters in the game or a seasoned defender with a point to prove.
Valuations work both ways
United want to shift players but only on their terms. That is the right way to operate. After all, Smalling excelled in Serie A and is worth the fee requested.
But Borussia Dortmund are no different and will know they have a once-in-a-generation talent. Why should they sell for anything less than a price-tag that makes sense given previous deals?
United may well end up getting what they want for Smalling but, in so doing, they should realize that selling clubs nearly always hold the cards.
That’s the business of football. So United should either pay what Sancho is worth or move on.