Manchester United have made an opening bid of £59million for Jadon Sancho – more than £20million short of Borussia Dortmund’s asking price.
Sources in Germany claim that United’s first offer for the England winger has been tabled in the last 48 hours – and that Dortmund were shocked by it.
Mirror Sport revealed at the weekend that the Bundesliga club are demanding £81.5million for Sancho.
And that they want the bulk of the money paid up front after lowering the valuation they gave United a year ago by £26.5million.
The 21-year-old now has just two years left on his contract in Germany.
He was ready to move to Old Trafford last summer, but when United failed to meet Dortmund’s £108million asking price he knew that the opportunity to move back to England would come again this year.
United want to pay any fee for Sancho in instalments, with agreeing personal terms nothing more than a formality after last year’s negotiations.
But Old Trafford’s chief negotiator Matt Judge will have to come back with another £20million before Dortmund will return to the negotiating table to thrash out an agreement on how the deal will be structured.
Despite qualifying for the Champions League again, Dortmund have to cash in on Sancho to offset the huge financial losses they have suffered during the coronavirus crisis.
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They are refusing to budge on their £140million asking price for Erling Haaland.
And with the clock ticking on Sancho’s contract, it makes sense to sell him now than risk seeing his value fall further.
Sancho began his career at Manchester City, but turned down a £30,000-a-week contract to move to Germany when he was 17 over fears he would not get game-time under Pep Guardiola.
He suffered a dip in form after seeing last summer’s proposed return to the Premier League collapse.
And when a thigh injury sustained in early March sidelined him for seven weeks, Dortmund lost ground in their bid to finish in the top four and were knocked out of the Champions League by City.
He returned to help his club win their last seven games of the season – scoring twice in a man-of-the-match performance in the German Cup final win over RB Leipzig and helping them qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Sancho has scored 50 goals in 137 appearances for Dortmund.
His 19 games for England have brought three goals.
Born in Camberwell, South London, Sancho joined Watford’s academy at the age of seven and moved into club accommodation four years later to solve the problem of travelling across London.
He was snapped up by City at the age of 14 for an initial fee of just £66,000, but the Hornets eventually banked £500,000 in add-ons.