Manchester United must consider setting their own Jadon Sancho transfer deadline

Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund looks on during day two of the Borussia Dortmund winter training camp on January 05, 2020 in Marbella, Spain.

Borussia Dortmund's self-imposed deadline of August 10 came and went for Jadon Sancho's move to Manchester United with the predictable hardline stance coming out of the Bundesliga side.

As far as Dortmund are concerned that's it for the summer, but the reality is that was never going to be the case. Placing a date on a deal was merely part of a summer of strategising and politicking for what will be the biggest deal in this window, if it happens.

Dortmund's deadline was a moveable line in the sand. If United returned tomorrow with the offer the Westphalia side want then Sancho would be on the next plane into Manchester.

But, right now, that is not going to happen. Those United fans who follow the transfer dealings as intently as the games have become accustomed to the slow pace of business at Old Trafford, yet the strategy they would prefer of paying whatever the selling club wants isn't exactly designed with long-term success either.

The state of play is that Dortmund still want €120million and United still won't pay that. For now we're in the brinksmanship stage, a battle of wills to see who blinks first. How badly do United want Sancho? How badly do Dortmund need to record a significant sale this summer? Time will tell.

But while the Sancho saga rolls on, United's other transfer business is pretty much stalled. United aren't immune from the way the coronavirus pandemic has decimated the revenues of every club around Europe and multiple big-money deals this summer are considered very unlikely now, with uncertainty still surrounding the return of crowds and matchday revenue.

That makes planning for anything after or alongside Sancho difficult. If United do finally sign Sancho then it will be a successful window, but it will mean the extent of upgrades elsewhere in the squad are reliant on raising funds from outgoings as well.

So, for now, United's primary focus is Sancho, even if progress is slow, but having seen Dortmund's deadline come and go United might soon need to consider imposing their cut-off for a deal for the 20-year-old winger.

There is an expectation in most quarters that Dortmund's hardline stance over their €120m price tag on Sancho will soften as the summer progresses and they realise United really are the only suitors in town for a player they probably need to sell to balance the books.

But there is a possibility that Dortmund don't lower their sights, that the Sancho stalemate ends as just that. If United continue to pursue Sancho deep into September and fail to land their man it could wreck the summer transfer window.

United will need time to realign their approach if Sancho begins to look like he'll be staying at Signal Iduna Park. They can't spend the summer chasing a deal only to accept on deadline day it's not happening.

A swift resolution might be preferable, but right now it doesn't look likely and United don't have time to wait forever.

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