Germany’s Sport1 have what they present as their own information on Jadon Sancho to Manchester United.
They report Ed Woodward and chief negotiator Matt Judge appointed a ‘vermittlergruppe’ on Sunday to help them sign the Borussia Dortmund player. That would literally mean a mediator group, but it could be termed as brokers, intermediaries or agents.
Those who have been appointed are ‘tinkering’ with a ‘mega-offer’ for the player, which could arrive at Dortmund ‘later this week’.
Sport1 also say it’s a ‘fact’ there’s been no offer made yet, and that there’s no direct contact between the two clubs.
Piecing together the reports today from Germany is a little complicated but presents a good picture of what is being leaked to the media closest to Borussia Dortmund.
Early this morning, Ruhr Nachrichten reported negotiations are tough. The Bundesliga club haven’t moved away from their €120m claim, and want a big chunk of that upfront. Ousmane Dembele’s transfer to Barcelona was used as an example, with the Catalan club paying €105m initially and then adding further payments after that.
The newspaper, reliable and local to BVB, said ‘it does not seem impossible’ that a transfer could still happen even if the August 10th (when Dortmund start a Swiss training camp) deadline is missed. Ruhr Nachricten had been first to report that deadline a month ago.
Kicker then managed to upset everyone by saying ‘According to Kicker information, there is currently no contact between Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United.’
It would appear they were right, at least in terms of direct contact.
Bild quickly turned up, reporting personal terms have been agreed between Manchester United and Sancho. This wasn’t a surprise, after Sky Deutschland had reported the same on Monday.
Personal terms holding up a deal was always going to be very unlikely. Some fans have been asking how wages can be settled without a transfer being agreed, well, whether it’s good or bad, this has been happening for years with little consequence.
According to Bild, Sancho is set to earn £340k a week on a five year deal. That figure may be inflated, the German newspaper have a tendency to present defections from the Bundesliga to Premier League as being about money.
Bild insisted Dortmund won’t budge from their €120m asking price. There’s been no official offer, just intermediaries ‘scanning’ between the two clubs, which sounds like they’re trying to work out what each other will accept without getting in too deep and then disagreeing directly.
That fits in with the Sport1 claim about Woodward appointing people to do the negotiating for Manchester United.
This may be a lesson learned from the Henrikh Mkhitaryan saga, when everything got distasteful and the German media reported Mino Raiola had been attacking furniture at Dortmund’s offices. Hopefully, these intermediaries are more tactful.
Bild also explained the English club are set to arrive in Cologne on Sunday ahead of the Europa League semi-final and final being held in the city, and there was the hint that could be an opportunity to seal the deal, although it sounded more mischievous than anything else.
Now it’s time for Woodward’s intermediaries to agree a solution everyone is happy with, much the same way Bruno Fernandes’ agent worked in the January window.
Borussia Dortmund want their €120m for financial reasons, but they also won’t want to lose face. Having sent out messages continually about not accepting a penny less, they’ll be hugely reluctant to be seen to have given ground. That feeling will be even more entrenched after Uli Hoeneß claimed Dortmund buy players with a vision to later sell them, whereas Bayern Munich buy players who see themselves there forever.
Michael Zorc responded by calling Hoeneß arrogant. Both men were correct.
Should Dortmund be willing to accept any of the €120m as performance related bonuses, they’d want that as small as possible and for reasonable targets. Hoeneß & Co would have further sniping material should they fail.
Bild bringing up the Dembele amount sounds scary from a Manchester United perspective, because €105m upfront is huge and not usually the way things work. That said, his transfer turned into an all-out war and Barcelona found themselves in a difficult position, which isn’t the case for United right now.
Whilst the August 10th deadline doesn’t now seem as concrete as it had once been presented, it makes sense for the deal to be agreed before then, so Sancho doesn’t have to travel to Switzerland. With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in Germany from Sunday, it’s given a little logistical help too, and maybe Bild are correct and the transfer can be sealed with a glass of Kölsch, the local brew.