Graeme Souness says Manchester United risk having their ‘trousers taken down’ by Borussia Dortmund if it’s true that have they agreed personal terms with Jadon Sancho before negotiating a price with the Bundesliga club.
Sancho, 20, is regarded as one of the most exciting talents in European football after another outstanding season with Dortmund – in which he has racked up 14 goals and 15 assists – and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has identified the winger as his priority attacking target ahead of the summer transfer window.
Though the coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty across world football regarding players’ contracts and potential transfers, reports on Monday claimed that United had agreed ‘almost every detail’ of a deal with Sancho after months of secret discussions.
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Dortmund have made it clear they will not part with Sancho for less than €110million (£95m) but the Red Devils are adamant the young England international has the ability to transform their attack and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is prepared to release the necessary funds.
However, asked about the reports suggesting that Sancho had agreed personal terms with United on Sky Sports’ The Football Show, Souness replied: ‘I don’t see it. Unless the whole world has changed I don’t think you get into personal terms, length of contract, buyout clauses until the two clubs have decided on a fee.
‘The first thing is the two clubs coming to an agreement, the rest comes second, so I’m not sure if that can be correct.
‘If you’re Man United and you’re doing that, without getting a deal done with Dortmund, you will have your trousers taken down because they know the strength of your offer, they know you’re very much up for it, so you’re taking away any negotiating power if you go down that road where you’re agreeing with players first.
‘You can do it behind everyone’s back but the fact it’s in the public domain, the fact that someone from Dortmund – “someone from Dortmund” – is saying that the player has spoken to Man United, I don’t see that being a goer personally.
‘The transfer may happen, but I don’t see it happening in that chronological way.
‘I think there has to be club to club and then you get down to the nitty gritty of the things you mentioned.’
Jamie Redknapp is confident United would prove to be a ‘brilliant’ next step for Sancho but he believes the youngster should get assurances from Solskjaer over his playing time before agreeing to the switch.
‘I think we’re talking about an incredible talent, someone that’s made some really good decisions,’ the ex-Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder said in response to Souness.
‘He went abroad, took a real risk to a certain extent – a very good one that paid off – got in the Champions League, played amazing football and he’s obviously playing for his country now.
‘His next move is very important now because what he’s got to make sure he does is he gets in that team and he plays regularly because he’s such an amazing talent. One of the best I’ve seen in a long time.
‘We’re talking about top five in the world in a few years, he’s got that much ability so if he goes to United, everyone knows the pressure of going to a big club. He looks the sort of young man who can handle it.
‘But it’s gonna be a brilliant move for him if he does go there and I think, in the Premier League, he’s the one player I would love to see right now in there.’
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