Jadon Sancho to become one of Man United's most expensive signings of all-time
One of the longest transfer sagas of the past decades comes to an end as United finally sign their long-held transfer target, Jadon Sancho
It's done, the transfer saga is over at last: Jadon Sancho is officially a Manchester United player after almost four years of the 21-year-old being linked with the club virtually non-stop. He joins the club on a five-year contract until 2026.
Sancho is returning to the city where he began to make a name for himself on an estimated €85 million fee - equating to around £73 million - with former club Manchester City said to be receiving a net windfall of £11.2m from the sell-on clause and solidarity payment worth £1.46m.
We have agreed a deal in principle for the transfer of Jadon Sancho to United! 🔴⚪⚫#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 1, 2021
Watford, where Sancho played from age seven until he was 14, will also receive £2.19m, meaning the total transfer cost sits at approximately £76.55m - making Sanhco the most expensive signing in the club's history.
Despite more concrete reports than ever trickling through, for some, it was only until Borussia Dortmund's CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke, confirmed the agreement that fans could begin to stop pinching themselves.
Even Marcus Rashford got in on the act, seemingly having confirmed the deal on Twitter while the two - often pictured together as of late - were away with the England camp at Euro 2020.
Regardless of these add-ons, one of the most noteworthy aspects about the deal is that United have actually managed to save around €35m by waiting another year to get the deal done. Masterstroke or just plain luck?
Welcome brother ♥️ https://t.co/2SuivqPXSj pic.twitter.com/E3ZechvVXb
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) July 1, 2021
Dortmund's asking price at the start of the previous summer transfer window levelled out at €108m valuations. Prior to that, valuations had reached as high as €120, bringing the likes of Chelsea into the conversation as to who would blink first.
United's negotiations at the time deemed embarrassing, with Ed Woodward still heading up United's recruitment before widespread and cumulative fan pressure finally caused him to announce that he would be resigning at the end of 20/21.
While he said he would do his utmost to help the club for the remainder of his tenure, many Reds have already attributed the success of this deal to their recently appointed technical director, John Murtough. Either way, they'll just be happy that it is finally over the line.
Sancho left the blue half of Manchester for the German club back in 2017 and immediately proved why they were so foolish to let him go, going on to be one of the most prolific and productive players in Europe over the coming seasons.
Though he only made a dozen first-team appearances for the Black and Yellows in 17/18, he still managed to notch a goal and four assists, not to mention impressing at youth level as he did for City.
He was also an instrumental part of the England under-17s squad that reached the final of the UEFA European Championship's in 2017 and who went on to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Sancho was ultimately withdrawn by Dortmund in the round of 16, despite having scored in each of the three group games. He was a talisman in the team that included Phil Foden, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Morgan Gibbs-White, just to name a few, and robbed of a trophy at youth level, but was clearly destined for great things already.
It wasn't until next season when the world realised what a generational talent they had on their hands, as the London-born netted 33 goals and assist combined in 43 appearances, before trumping that tally in 19/20 with 20 goals and 20 assists in just one more game.
These are phenomenal numbers that any player would struggle to replicate, but even after a 20/21 campaign knocked off course by injury, speculation around his future and a shift in shape by former coach Lucien Favre, he managed to finish the season strong, picking up form and a trophy after the new year.
There was a part of us that thought we'd never actually see him come to the Premier League - he'd got to such a level of reputation at such a young age that anyone and everyone was probably in for him at one time or another - but the time has finally come.
Let's just say that, at long last, United have some player on their hands, Moreover, with the likes of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood all still in the early days of their career, a truly frightening forward line that could see them right for the better part of the next decade.