A coffin that was already quite firmly shut was given two extra nails yesterday as Manchester United received more bad news about their pursuit of Jadon Sancho.
First, Borussia Dortmund confirmed for the third time that Sancho was no longer for sale at any price.
They had previously said that if no deal had been agreed by the time the team left for their summer training camp on August 10th, that the 20-year-old would stay at the club for at least one more season.
Head of sport Michael Zorc then gave a press briefing on the 10th, saying that the player was staying, that the decision was ‘definitive’ and that he has signed a contract extension.
However, as Zorc had previously performed a u-turn over a similar claim that Ousmane Dembele would not be sold in 2017, the English press and reportedly United themselves did not take his words seriously and speculation continued.
This prompted Dortmund’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke to say in a radio interview three days later: ‘take it from us: For a Westphalian, definitive means definitive. Jadon will play with us for the 2020/21 season, there is no room for interpretation.’
But United again seemed to react with their fingers in their ears singing ‘la la la, we’re not listening!’ and reportedly continued to try to negotiate for Sancho.
This has prompted director Sebastian Kehl to try again to get the message through, saying ‘Jadon is happy to stay … He is going to be here for at least one more season.’ (source: The Mirror)
But if that wasn’t enough, Sancho himself has responded directly to a question about the media speculation linking him with the Red Devils. Again, the English press had suggested he might express a desire to leave in order to strengthen United’s case, but again, there was only disappointment for United.
‘I try not to look at the media because I think once you start looking at all that it would be easy to get carried away with it,’ he told SoccerBible.
‘It can affect players. For me it’s about not looking at those things and just focusing on trying to do the best I can on the pitch.
‘I don’t really look at all the noise and all that stuff. I’d rather keep my head down, keep focus and improve every day.’
These latest developments follow Thursday’s YouTube interview on United Peoples TV with a Wall Street financial expert, who claimed that the Red Devils would only have a net £20-£30 million to spend this summer due to lost gate revenues.
With Dortmund having been adamant that they would only accept £108 million in a lump sum, that would appear to be quite some gap.
There does not seem to be any reason why United are still continuing to negotiate with a club who are clearly not willing to sell, let alone negotiate, for a player who is clearly not agitating to leave, with a budget that is nowhere near sufficient to buy him.
Perhaps United do realise that and it is just the papers trying to wring some last drops out of the story, but surely now, enough is enough and we should all move on to a more realistic topic.
Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood scored over 60 goals between them last season. But how much do you know about other strikers who played for the Red Devils over the years? Take our quiz below to find out.