Jadon Sancho to Man Utd latest as Woodward eyes alternatives, Dortmund speak out
The hottest transfer saga of the summer shows no signs of slowing down, as Manchester United continue to persist with a move for Jadon Sancho.
Borussia Dortmund have made it pretty clear this week that the Red Devils have missed their opportunity to land the 20-year-old after the August 10 deadline.
United, though, remain determined to land their man, and continue to press on with negotiations as they seek a lower price.
Sancho has spoken out regarding his immediate future, hinting he is happy to still be with the Bundesliga outfit for the foreseeable.
But what happens next? Here is a round-up of everything we know so far about the transfer situation.
A third Dortmund statement
Dortmund have released a third statement over the Sancho saga.
The first came on August 10 from Michael Zorc, who confirmed the player would be staying in Germany.
The second was from head of football operations, Sebastian Kehl, who reaffirmed his happiness that Sancho was staying put.
Now, it is the turn of CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke, who this week said: “We are Westphalians and we agreed on the language Michael Zorc used to communicate the decision on Monday.
"You can be certain that definitely means definitely for Westphalians. Jadon will play the 2020/21 season with us. There is no room for interpretation.”
According to The Athletic, United are now exploring backup options in case they miss out on the 20-year-old.
Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman and Juventus ace Douglas Costa are considered ‘genuine possibilities’.
Meanwhile, ESPN claim that Dembele is one option with informal talks over a move for the 23-year-old, who has not played a competitive match since November, having taken place.
Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, who has been linked with a move to United for several months, continues to be linked.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer demands Harry Maguire partner amid Jadon Sancho transfer struggles
Transfer Window Podcast reporter Duncan Castles believes the Red Devils are now looking at alternative targets and are preparing to use the Sancho cash to strengthen other areas of the pitch.
United are reportedly watching Monaco left-back Fode Ballo-Toure, who is under contract until 2023.
The under-21 international would be brought in as a back-up for Luke Shaw, while Brandon Williams would be shifted over the right-back as back-up for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
“There was an interest in Fode Ballo-Toure, the left-back at Monaco, he’s young, he’s a French under-21 international, he’s played a lot of games for Monaco but he’s not a guaranteed starter for the entire season, so he’s the type of player who can be brought into the squad and would be satisfied working and challenging for a place, rather than the expectation of being a starter every match," Castles said.
“There’s a shift there in looking at alternative opportunities if Dortmund are true to their word and won’t sell Sancho.
“That’s probably a welcome sign to Manchester United fans, that United are operating in a way where they have a strategy set out for them, should their first-choice deals not be completable this season.”
To end the speculation once and for all, Dortmund want Sancho to publicly state he is happy to remain at the Bundesliga giants, according to the Times.
The 20-year-old rarely offers public interviews but Dortmund are said to be happy for his statement of intent to come on social media too.
Reports suggest Sancho's camp are bemused at the stand-off, as the Signal Iduna Park outfit stick to their August 10 deadline despite the transfer window closing in October.
But the player did admit he was happy at the club earlier this week.
Sancho speaks out
As mentioned, Sancho broke his silence this week – commenting on his situation after helping Dortmund win their first pre-season friendly 6-0 against Austrian side Altach.
"I love playing with this lot. It‘s a special bunch," Sancho said.
"We've got some special young players coming up. I’m really happy to share the pitch with them and guide them. I was once in their shoes, playing with the seniors.
“I joined when I was 17, some of the lads are the same age. I’ve been there and done that.
"I can guide them in what’s good and what isn’t. I can hopefully motivate them as well.”
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United are reportedly frustrated that Marco Lichtsteiner, brother of former Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner, has been assigned by Dortmund to negotiate a deal for Sancho as a third party.
The Times state that Lichtsteiner’s role is a bone of contention with the Premier League giants preferring to deal directly with Dortmund.
The German side remain committed to keeping Sancho, which may make Lichtsteiner's job even trickier.
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