Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho

Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho was heavily linked with Premier League side Manchester United for over two months in the transfer window which ended on October 5.

It was a chase which was never completed and left the Red Devils' transfer window pretty stale. But on deadline day, United managed to sign 33-year-old striker Edinson Cavani and Brazilian left-back Alex Telles.

However, the inability to sign Sancho made United the clear losers of the transfer window as they wasted two months on a chase which was never completed.

Or, in other words, duly noted by a German football expert Raphael Honigstein: Manchester United played 'A poker game with someone not at the table'

In an interaction with Sky Sports, Honigstein analysed United's Sancho chase.

"In sporting terms, Dortmund are happy that he stayed," he said. "The irritation from their point of view was that they were very proactive. They understood that United were in the running and they understood that Sancho was tempted to go there. They also realised fairly early on that there wasn't anyone else bidding against United, so they set out their terms.

"More important than the €120m asking price was the deadline of August 10. Dortmund knew if they sold Sancho in September or October, the €120m would look pretty in the bank but to them it was of no use because they wouldn't find anyone who would be value for money. Clubs would be quoting them double the price they would usually because they would all want the Sancho money.

"Once the deadline passed, United laboured under the delusion that the price would come down. But if anything, it entrenched Dortmund's position that he couldn't leave. Once they went public with that, a reputational aspect came into it as well. Once you tell your team, your manager and the whole public that he's not leaving, it's almost impossible to climb down.

"United either didn't want to or couldn't do the deal on Dortmund's terms, and then spent two months playing a poker game against somebody who wasn't even at the table.

"It showed a lack of understanding on Dortmund's position and hurt them in as much that, if you then want to pursue your B, C and D options, they should've done that from August 10 - not September 10 or October 1. They ran out of time and the knock-on effect of pursuing Sancho in the manner they did was damaging to them," the German concluded.

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