Monday was probably the biggest Jadon Sancho rumour day yet, with claims flying around the internet and something of a rumour arms race.
The transfer was made to sound imminent, like it could be happening within a day or so. Interestingly, over in Germany it was much calmer.
Sunday evening had seen claims from Bild that Manchester United could pay €70m upfront with further payments of €30m and €20m, and that Borussia Dortmund would likely accept it. That very much felt like it was being put out there what kind of deal the Bundesliga club is looking for.
Sky UK on Monday said United and Sancho were close to agreeing personal terms, and then a few hours later Sky Deutschland reported there was an agreement in principle on wages. Those claims are easy to make, it’s very unlikely the transfer is going to have a serious issue when it comes to wages.
Similar can be said about shirt number. Sancho wears the No.7 for Dortmund, that number is available at Manchester United, so it doesn’t take Detective Columbo to work it out.
Amid all the social media craziness, it’s worth taking a step back and going to see what Ruhr Nachrichten are saying. They’re BVB’s local newspaper, have good connections at the club, and are refreshingly calm when it comes to covering the story.
Having refused to get dragged into the hype on Monday, they’ve published an article on Tuesday morning which lays out the case as they see it.
Ruhr Nachrichten report the original message coming from the German club was that this was the decisive week. If there was no agreement with Manchester United, the only club seriously in for Sancho, then he’d stay where he is.
To give some credit where it’s due, the newspaper reported the August 10th deadline on July 5th. They say Manchester United were made aware of this, but now ‘it’s another matter’ whether that deadline can stand.
Negotiations are ‘tough’, and they hint the €120m total fee still hasn’t been accepted by the Old Trafford club, with Dortmund refusing to move away from that claim. On top of that, there’s the payment method, and whilst it’s rightly stated instalments are common when it comes to such a transfer, it’s also stated BVB are likely to ask for a big chunk upfront… and then pointed out their initial payment for Ousmane Dembele was €105m.
Michael Zorc has been planning for Sancho’s exit by searching for replacements, and that’s why ‘it does not seem impossible’ the player could still leave if the deadline is missed. Indeed, Ruhr Nachrichten say that even if the England international is still a Dortmund player when he returns from the Swiss training camp, that doesn’t rule out a transfer as far as they’re concerned.
Getting things done quickly is better for all involved, however, the slant on that August 10th deadline is certainly changing.