United’s pursuit of Sancho has been one that has been going on for years since his initial departure from Manchester City. Missing his signing three years ago might have been a blessing in disguise as the 20-year-old flourished playing in Germany, rather than in the intense media spotlight of Jose Mourinho’s first team.
However, it is a testament to the club’s confidence in not distancing itself from Sancho’s impending arrival, with a transfer deal between the two clubs, all of which stands in the way of the most publicized move by the summer.
Having seen the fast-paced business carried on by rivals City and Chelsea already this summer, it’s understandable that United fans might look enviously, although any deal to sign Sancho will soon allay any current dissatisfaction.
In a dream scenario, any club would be keen to conclude transfer negotiations as quickly as possible, but for United’s pursuit of Sancho, this is perhaps an issue that is perhaps getting too much attention.
Borussia Dortmund are looking to make the story their own and spark interest in Sancho as the transfer market begins to pick up steam, but the reality is that United are about the only team in a position to buy the winger in the coming weeks.
The Bundesliga club have set a deadline of August 10 for a deal to be made, but the truth is they would still agree to a deal afterwards if someone hit their asking price.
Instead, United have some leeway to use to their advantage, and Woodward has two obvious reasons for not paying the asking price up front.
First, United want to keep initial base fees as low as possible and make up a good chunk of the deal by including a series of performance-related add-ons. This is the same tactic that was deployed with the arrival in January of Bruno Fernandes, an upfront payment of £ 47million with an additional £ 20.7million in add-ons for an overall package of 67, £ 7million.
This means United will take a much smaller hit on their transfer budget for the summer window, but also means the selling club can claim the victory by stating the overall value of the deal when announcing the sale.
As for Sancho’s lawsuit, a similar deal could have huge implications for the rest of the summer transfer business. In the hypothetical situation where United agree to pay an additional £ 20-30million in bonuses, that means they would effectively free up an additional £ 30million from the budget to be spent now to strengthen in other areas of the pitch.
Another reason for longer negotiations is that lowering the upfront payment to Dortmund would in turn reduce the amount of money Man City would be entitled to as part of their sale three years ago. Pep Guardiola’s side could help fund their own summer rebuild, with City facing 15% of any transfer deal for Sancho of more than £ 8million, and cutting base fees would only dilute that payment further.
Most fans won’t get carried away until they see Sancho pose in United’s new kit for next season, and while the wait for his transfer can be tedious, it’s a negotiating process that will have far broader implications than just its arrival.