Fri. Oct 30th, 2020

Man Utd

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Man United have NOT made a new £91m bid for Sancho and fear losing face if another offer is rejected

3 min read

Manchester United could move for Barcelona‘s Ousmane Dembele if they abandon attempts to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund before the transfer deadline.

United denied reports that they have made a £91.2million offer for Sancho – £73m plus £18.2m in add-ons – which has been rejected by Dortmund.

However, the 20-year-old winger pulled out of the German Super Cup clash against Bayern Munich with Dortmund blaming his absence on a mystery respiratory infection unrelated to coronavirus.

Sancho remains United’s No.1 target but Sportsmail understands they have been worried about losing face and the backlash from fans if a formal bid is turned down.

They are believed to have held discussions with intermediaries on Tuesday and are still refusing to meet Dortmund’s demand for £108m.

United must now decide whether to pursue their interest before the transfer window closes on Monday or call a halt to the long-running saga and look at other options.

Having lost out to Tottenham in the race to sign Gareth Bale on loan from Real Madrid, Dembele has emerged as a strong candidate.

United sources confirmed that the 23-year-old Frenchman has been discussed although any move is likely to be on loan.

Dembele was one of the most exciting wingers in Europe when he joined Barcelona from Dortmund for £96.8m three years ago – opening the door for Sancho’s move to the Bundesliga club from Manchester City – but he has struggled with injuries.

United are under pressure to sign a right-sided attacker after being criticised for only buying Donny van de Beek so far in this window.

FC Porto left-back Alex Telles is expected to be the next new player through the door while Chris Smalling and Andreas Pereira are set to leave for Italy with Roma and Lazio respectively.

United return to Brighton in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday four days after snatching a 3-2 Premier League at the Amex Stadium when Bruno Fernandes converted a penalty awarded after the final whistle for handball.

It followed a dubious handball decision against Victor Lindelof in United’s opening defeat to Crystal Palace, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits the new rule has only added to a peculiar start to the new season.

‘It’s a whole spectre of things that aren’t normal,’ he said. ‘I think football has changed. There are no fans, it’s a different game, pre-season we were at different stages, and the new handball rule.

‘You never know what’s going to happen. You can discuss it all day long, but we need some clarity on what’s a penalty.

‘Now it looks like you can chip the ball up into someone’s hand like what happened to us against Palace for example and Victor got a penalty against him.

‘Then the header against Tottenham. He (Eric Dier) has got no idea the ball hits him. You see the goals scored (by Chelsea) against West Brom at the end, is that not handball? We need to get that clarity.

‘There have been so many changes and nuances to different rules. Back in the day, it seemed simpler.’

Solskjaer aimed another playful dig at his predecessor Jose Mourinho having joked about the Tottenham boss complaining that the goalposts were five centimetres smaller than regulation for last week’s Europa League tie against Shkendija in Macedonia.

Mourinho retaliated by mentioning the number of penalties United have been awarded under Solskjaer, and the United boss couldn’t resist a reference to Spurs reaching the Carabao Cup fourth round without playing a game after receiving a bye against Leyton Orient.

‘It depends how you want to get there,’ he smiled ahead of Wednesday’s game. ‘You’ve got teams getting there without playing, even to this round!’

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