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Man United are looking to copy Fernandes transfer tactic in Sancho negotiations

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A few Manchester United fans might be getting agitated as they await official confirmation of a deal to sign Jadon Sancho this summer.

Ed Woodward made it clear the current transfer window wouldn't be business as usual for United, perhaps the biggest indicator of which is the fact the club aren't hiding that Sancho is their main target this summer.

United's pursuit of Sancho is one which has been years in the making ever since his initial departure from Manchester City. Missing out on his signature three years ago might actually have been a blessing in disguise as the 20-year-old flourished playing in Germany, rather than the intense media spotlight of Jose Mourinho's first-team squad.

However, it speaks of the club's confidence that they aren't distancing themselves from the impending arrival of Sancho, with a transfer agreement between the two clubs all that stands in the way of the summer's highest-profile move.

Having seen the speedy business conducted by rivals City and Chelsea already this summer it is understandable why United fans might be looking on in envy, although any deal to sign Sancho will soon appease any current discontent.

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In a dream scenario any club would like to conclude transfer negotiations as swiftly as possible, but for United's pursuit of Sancho it is an issue which is perhaps getting too much attention.

Borussia Dortmund are looking to own the story and drive up interest in Sancho as the transfer market begins to gather pace, but the reality is United are about the only team actually in a position to purchase the winger in the coming weeks.

The Bundesliga club have set a deadline of August 10 for a deal to be concluded, but the truth is they would still accept a deal afterwards if someone meets their hefty asking price.

Instead there is some leeway for United to use to their advantage, and Woodward has two obvious reasons for simply not paying the asking price up front.

Firstly, is the fact that United want to drive down the initial base fee as low as possible, and make up a good chunk of the deal by including a series of performance related add-ons. This is the same tactic which was deployed with the January arrival of Bruno Fernandes, an initial payment of £47million with an extra £20.7m in add-ons for an overall package of £67.7m.

Doing so means United take a substantially smaller hit on their transfer budget for the summer window, but also means the selling club can claim victory by quoting the overall value of the deal when announcing the sale.

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In regards to the pursuit of Sancho a similar deal could have huge implications for the rest of the summer transfer activity. In the hypothetical situation of United agreeing to pay £20-£30m extra in bonuses it means they would effectively free up another £30m of the budget to spend right now on strengthening in other areas of the pitch.

Another reason in favour of longer negotiations is that by lowering the initial payment to Dortmund it would in turn lower the amount of money which Man City would be entitled to as part of their sale three years ago. Pep Guardiola's side could help to fund their own summer rebuild with City owed 15 percent of any transfer deal for Sancho over £8 million, and driving the base fee down would only further dilute that pay-out.

Most supporters won't be getting carried away until they see Sancho posing in United's new kit for next season, and although the wait for his transfer might be tedious, it is a negotiation process which will have much wider implications than just his arrival.




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