Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre is proceeding under the assumption Jadon Sancho will not leave the club before the transfer window closes.
The MEN reported a week ago United were on the lookout for alternatives in the event a move for Sancho, 20, does not materialise. David Brooks, Douglas Costa and Ivan Perisic are among some of the wingers United have considered to varying degrees of interest.
United have identified the right wing as a priority position but have only three weeks to secure what would be a British record deal for Sancho, valued at around £108million, or move onto a fall-back option.
Dortmund start their Bundesliga campaign against Duisberg on Monday night and, in an interview with the Swiss news agency SDS, Favre was asked: “Another gifted person will and will continue to work with you: Jadon Sancho is not (yet) moving to the Premier League. Have you breathed a sigh of relief?”
Favre replied: “We need him, no question about it. Everyone was happy that he stayed.
“We don’t need to talk long about his qualities – they are enormous. He scores and prepares many goals, can often make all the difference.
“But there are a few details that Sancho needs to improve. That’s normal for a 20-year-old.”
United have struggled to find a resolution over Sancho’s salary expectations and the agents’ fees during talks with Obasi and the intermediary Marco Lichtsteiner, acting on behalf of Dortmund. Even though Obasi represents Sancho he is believed to have been communicating Dortmund’s own demands, which United have found unusual.
United’s preference is to negotiate a deal comprised of add-ons for Sancho and they have refused to give up on signing him after Dortmund insisted Sancho would stay at the club. United have been frustrated by the slow pace of negotiations with Obasi and Lichtsteiner, brother of former Juventus and Arsenal defender Stephan.
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said last month the club had extended Sancho’s contract to 2023 and the decision on him staying was ‘final’. United have been relaxed amid Dortmund’s tactics to unnerve them in their pursuit of Sancho and sources in Germany say Dortmund want to ‘own the story’. United were irritated early on in the window by inaccurate overseas reports that they had agreed terms with Sancho.
The MEN previously reported Sancho had confided in friends at former club Manchester City he would relish returning to Manchester to play for United. The MEN revealed United’s interest in Sancho when they tried to sign him from City in 2017 but their rivals blocked a move and Sancho joined Dortmund for £8m.