Exclusive – Manchester United remain intent on signing Borussia Dortmund and England winger Jadon Sancho in the next transfer window, despite the financial impact of the coronavirus on world football, although they will no longer break the £100m barrier to do so.
The stance ties directly into recent comments made by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who warned that while United remain in a financially strong position overall, no club is completely immune. They will, however, look to remain ‘highly competitive’ in the market.
“It feels somewhat inappropriate to see speculation about transfers for hundreds of millions in current circumstances,” the United chief said at the end of last month.
“There’s a big disconnect between those stories and the economic realities facing football clubs in general. Clearly, it’s true we are fortunate to be in a strong financial position compared to many clubs, but we are not immune from the financial impact of what this virus is doing.
“I would say that once we have that visibility of a path through the crisis and coming out of the other side to relative normality, then of course, we aim to remain highly competitive in the market.”
90min first revealed back in September that United are confident of striking a deal to sign Sancho in 2020. But despite the challenges brought by the coronavirus crisis, the Old Trafford club will not be deterred from trying to land their top summer target.
A source has told 90min that United are now not prepared to pay £100m for Sancho, having previously been willing to go as high as £120m for the 20-year-old.
United do not see the deal being of the same value amid the coronavirus crisis. Dortmund also realise this and are similarly prepared to lower their expectations in terms of price.
United are still willing to break their own British transfer record, which stands at £89m when Paul Pogba re-joined the club from Juventus in 2016, just not to quite the same extent as they were a few months ago before the crisis took hold.
A source close to the situation explained: “The game’s finances have already taken a hit, and with question marks still hanging over the league campaigns.
“But United have a financially sound plan, and that is being tweaked which will mean some deals will be cheaper for them. But, by the same token, possible player sales will also not be as large as they possibly thought earlier in the year.”