Manchester United are reported to be finally stepping up interest in Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.
The Mail claim United will make an offer to test Dortmund’s resolve, although suggest the bid will be lower than the German club’s £108 million valuation.
The factor which has not been talked about much regarding Sancho, is his form.
While Sancho had a prolific 2019/20 season in which he netted 20 goals in all competitions, he ended it very poorly.
In his final 13 Bundesliga games last season he only scored in one of them.
In that match he scored a hat-trick, but apart from that win over Paderborn, he drifted through the end of the campaign and struggled to hit the high notes.
He only managed assists in two of these 13 matches.
Sancho’s poor form has continued into the 2020/21 season, so far at least.
While he scored and had an assist against lower league Duisburg in the cup to start the season, Sancho has blanked in two successive Bundesliga games.
The latest was a 2-0 loss to Augsburg at the weekend where once again he was unable to find the cutting edge.
In his last 16 games in all competitions, Sancho has scored in just two of them.
What factor will this form play?
Some may look at Sancho’s form and point out that it underlines United’s reluctance to pay Dortmund’s asking price.
He has not performed like a £108 million player over the past three months.
Dortmund may take a pragmatic view to take the money, if a bid close to their valuation is submitted.
Their team could benefit from being able to reinvest that money, when they are not getting a top form Jadon Sancho helping them.
Why is Sancho out of form?
There are two possible explanations for this. One of them is that the transfer talk has simply taken it’s toll on him.
On top of being just 20 and featuring in 44 games for Dortmund last season in total, Sancho may simply be experiencing a combination of mental and physical fatigue.
The second explanation is that Sancho’s heart simply is not in it at Dortmund any more.
He has kept his thoughts to himself over the past few months, and there is a hope that he is desperate still to move to United and link up with pal Marcus Rashford.
This would be affecting his form, and it may not pick up one way or another until the transfer window is closed on October 5 and he has some clarity over his future.
Sancho could have answered questions over his form with a big display against Bayern Munich tonight in the German Super Cup.
But mysteriously he is set to miss that game with a respiratory infection.
Even so, one match winning display would not take away from the inconsistency he has shown, failing to score in 14 of his last 16 games, and failing to assist in 13 of them.
If United do submit a big bid before the deadline, Sancho could be on his way. Dortmund have to consider at their end, whether he is worth turning that kind of money down for.
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