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Bild: Zorc Maintains Dortmund Will Not Sell Sancho to Manchester United

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BVB Are Standing Their Ground, but for How Long?

Borussia Dortmund v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

With only a few days left before the end of the transfer window, we can expect to see the discussions about Jadon Sancho’s potential move to Manchester United reach absurd new heights. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Zorc continues to stay firm on his insistence that the young Englishman is going nowhere right now. Zorc told Bild: “We have communicated with Manchester United in the past. We have, however, already said all there is about this topic and that will not change in the next three days.”

What Is Going On?

There seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the two sides of the story, and it’s unclear why that is. On Dortmund’s end, they have maintained that the matter is settled, and Sancho is going nowhere, but plenty of journalists with close contacts at United have suggested there is still some optimism about bringing Sancho in before the end of the window (though most of those journalists have said that the optimism is definitely waning).

Usually you can wade through the nonsense and see a reasonably coherent story that connects the reports that are coming from both sides, but that has never really been the case throughout this transfer saga. I’m not sure if it is because one side is lying to the media, or if United suspect Dortmund are playing hard to get and are actually need to move Sancho on, but the story doesn’t quite match up at the moment.

Another possibility is that Man Utd believe Sancho wants the move, and that continuing to talk the transfer up to the media will increase the pressure on Dortmund to give in to Sancho’s wishes. As far as we know, that is not the case, but the only part that gives me pause is the fact that Sancho has been relatively quiet. Is he quietly content or is he angrily brooding about the club refusing to let him leave? It’s probably not wise for Sancho to be making too much noise either way, but the reality is that without our knowing his position, we can’t be certain of anything.

Maintaining a Balanced Long-Term Strategy

It seems unlikely that Dortmund will let Sancho leave at this point, as they’d be left with no time whatsoever to replace him. But this is a difficult balancing act for BVB, perhaps more so than it would be for other clubs. BVB have to get good value for money, and have to be seen to be difficult dance partners in the transfer market, in order to discourage any clubs that are interested in Dortmund’s young talents from trying to fleece the club. But at the same time, the club has to show that they can be trusted to honor agreements with the conveyor belt of kids they are able to attract. In order to keep bringing in the next Sancho, Haaland, or Bellingham, the club has to hold up their side of the bargain. When a massive club comes in for them, with an offer that matches BVB’s (reasonable) valuation, they can’t stand in the way, because then the next teenage phenom might think twice about making Dortmund their home for a few years.

In this case, Man Utd haven’t met the valuation, and it seems as though Sancho is satisfied with the way the club have handled the situation, so BVB are doing a good job treading this fine line. If they can make it through this transfer window, get another great season out of Sancho before selling him for an astronomical fee next summer, I’d consider that a great success. I know that this might not be the most popular take, but I have a hard time seeing it any other way right now. If there’s a realistic alternative for the club, then I’d love to hear it. Which I mean genuinely, not passive-aggressively. Let us know!