Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund are close to agreeing a fee for Jadon Sancho, with the England forward having agreed personal terms on a five-year contract at Old Trafford.
Both clubs are understood to be confident a deal to make Sancho the most expensive English player in history is nearing completion, with United expected to pay an initial £90mn (€100mn) fee over three annual instalments and a further €20mn in performance-related add-ons. Dortmund would prefer to have the transfer completed by next week to help them bring in a replacement.
It is understood that Sancho, Ole Gunnar Solskaer’s key target, will earn about £250,000 a week – a significant rise on the five-year contract he signed at Dortmund in August 2019. The 20-year-old forward left Manchester City at the age of 17 to move to the Bundesliga in 2017 in an effort to secure first-team football. He scored 17 league goals and provided 16 assists last season and is expected to compete with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and the emerging teenager Mason Greenwood for a place in attack.
The impending departure of Alexis Sanchez to Inter Milan on a permanent deal has freed up funds for United to move for Sancho. Inter are not expected to pay a fee for the former Arsenal forward but will commit to taking over his contract worth £390,000 a week for the first 12 months of a three-year deal.
Before the Europa League last-16 second leg against Lask today, Solskjaer was asked about the value of completing a signing early. “This transfer window is a long one, every transfer takes its course,” he said. “At the moment I have no updates for you.”
Solskjær, whose side hold a 5-0 advantage over Lask, said he was pleased with Chris Smalling’s loan at Roma, which has not been extended to cover the Europa League. “This season was about him being regular and going to Roma and showing how good a centre-back he is … He has shown he will be valuable. I’ve been speaking to Chris throughout and been delighted with his season.”
Despite the praise, Smalling remains a favourite to depart given he is effectively sixth-choice. The player said he was “gutted that I can’t finish what we started this season”, with Roma facing Sevilla in a last-16 second leg trailing 2-1.
United are all but certain to reach the Europa League mini-tournament, played in Germany from Monday’s quarter-finals over an 11-day period, and Solskjær is not expecting United to fly home between rounds should they progress.
“There’s been a discussion at a higher level than me as to how the tournament will pan out,” the manager said. “At the moment it looks like we are staying. You could look at it as just one game and you travel home and then back to Germany to another away game. But right now it looks like we’re staying for the tournament.”
He confirmed Jesse Lingard would be in the XI at Old Trafford. “Jesse will be starting but the team won’t be too different from the team that played Lask away – we know it will be a difficult game,” he said. “It wasn’t a 5-0 difference [then] between the teams; we were winning 2-0 after 60 mins and scored three in the last five so we know we have to perform and there’s opportunities for players to stake a claim – if we get through.”
United’s 19-year-old left-back Brandon Williams has signed a new contract to June 2024 with the option of a further year.
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