That’s it. It’s over.
A transfer two years in the making, a deal United thoroughly embarrassed themselves over by the way they went about it last summer, a deal that has ultimately worked out in their favour, is finally secured. A fee for Jadon Sancho has been agreed with Borussia Dortmund. Personal terms over a long-term contract have been sorted. Post a medical once the Euros are over, the 21-year-old will officially be unveiled as a Red Devil.
Fabrizio Romano, who over the past couple of years has established himself as the reliable source for all news pertaining to football transfers, finally said those three words every Manchester United fan had been begging him to say to make it official.
Done deal confirmed. Agreement reached between Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund.
€90m with add ons. Agents fee and personal terms agreed, contract until 2026.
Medicals pending – then it’ll be official. pic.twitter.com/VBto2JqbtK
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 30, 2021
No sooner than that, Manchester United announced the deal via their social media channels.
We have agreed a deal in principle for the transfer of Jadon Sancho to United! 🔴⚪⚫#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 1, 2021
A statement on United’s official website read:
“Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement in principle with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of Jadon Sancho.
“The signing is subject to contractual terms and a medical, which will be completed after Jadon’s involvement in the UEFA European Championship.”
A statement from Borussia Dortmund, made to stock market, read as follows:
“The player Jadon Sancho is about to move from Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA to Manchester United Football Club Limited.
“Both clubs and the player reached an agreement on this today. If the transfer is realised, Manchester United will pay BVB a fixed transfer fee of EUR 85.0 million.
“The contractual details now have to be coordinated and documented.
“The formal processing of the transfer is also subject to the successful completion of all necessary medical tests and examinations, a coordination procedure with the player’s previous club and the proper and timely processing in accordance with the provisions of the FIFA Transfer Matching System (FIFA TMS).”
The (Red) Devil’s in the De(al)tails
After refusing to match Borussia Dortmund’s €120m evaluation last summer, United have managed to secure the Sancho deal for €85m (£72.6m). Dortmund are understandably unhappy about this, but with two years left of Sancho’s contract, and the player even more adamant to move, they had little choice in the reduced price and ultimately had to acquiesce.
Sancho has agreed a five-year contract with Manchester United with option for a further year. His base salary will be £250,000 per week approximately with potential performance-based bonuses.
United will be paying Dortmund the fee for the deal over the five years of Sancho’s contract at €17m (£14.5m) per year.
How Sancho will fit at United?
Sancho’s 50 goals and 64 assists for Borussia Dortmund in 137 matches across all competitions barely begin to scratch the surface of what he can offer. His arrival at United will immediately sort out the issues United have had in attack on their right-hand side. That they managed to finish as runners-up in the Premier League with a whole flank not working functionally is an achievement in its own right.
The 21-year-old not only becomes United’s first-and-foremost weapon on the right, but his inclusion also sets off a chain of alterations across the remainder of the squad. Sancho frees up Mason Greenwood from playing as a designated right-forward for more central opportunities. It takes the responsibility off Marcus Rashford and Daniel James to work as makeshift right-wingers when Paul Pogba is deployed on the left-wing, which will particularly come in handy against low-blocks that take the sting out of the pace Rashford and James bring. Overall, United will have more balance up front with two functional flanks, exponentially increasing their potential to create more big chances. A functional right-sided attack will also provide more room for right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka to focus on his defensive positioning while having reliable support up front to share the attacking responsibilities with him.
Not just that, Sancho can also function as a number 10 and is just as capable to play from the left, providing Solskjær a lot more opportunities to rotate his players based on the opposition. He only needs to think back to the days of Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney to expect the kind of havoc a rotating cast of high-profile options can wreak.
So, what now?
United may have secured their biggest asset early in the transfer window, but they’re still far off fixing the issues that ailed them last season. As pointed out in my Manchester United’s season review for last season, United at least need a centre-back compatible to Harry Maguire’s abilities and a designated number 6 that could provide positional and defensive solidity in the middle of the pitch.
Whether they will be able to achieve their targets is another matter, though. All estimates have suggested that United could only make one high-profile move this summer, but Sancho’s payment structure indicates there might yet be space to pull at least one more move off.
There’s undoubtedly more work to be done, but as we move into the crunch phase of the summer transfer window with Manchester United having already made a marquee signing, all we do is sit back and say – “here we go”.