•LONDON • Over the past few days, multiple British media reports have said Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United are locked in negotiations over the sale of Jadon Sancho for a fee over £100 million (S$179 million).
According to the BBC, the Red Devils have until Monday to match the Bundesliga club's valuation of the England forward, one of the most coveted names this summer.
While the German transfer window only closes on Oct 5, Dortmund want a swift resolution as they do not want speculation to affect preparations for next season. which starts on Sept 18.
But when asked at his virtual press conference ahead of today's Europa League last-16, second-leg tie with Austrian side Lask whether United were close to agreeing terms for Sancho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer kept his cards close to chest.
The Norwegian, whose side lead 5-0 from the first leg, said: "This transfer window is a long one. Every transfer takes its course."
While he played it coy, it appears the big-money move is inching towards completion, with German daily Bild yesterday reporting Sancho had agreed a five-year contract worth £340,000-a-week, with the price eventually rising to £108 million. Should that be the final fee - Dortmund and United are discussing the structure of the deal - the 20-year-old will become the most expensive player signed by an English club, topping the £89 million that United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba in 2016.
Solskjaer was, however, more eager to divert the talk away from Sancho's future to United's ambitions in the Europa League.
With the domestic term finished and a Champions League place secured, the Europa League remains his side's only opportunity for silverware. And despite their lead, he said he would not field a second-string side at Old Trafford.
"We're four games away from winning a trophy," he said.
"The team has developed all through the season, we're delighted with finishing third (in the league), but the next step is winning a trophy. The players want to play, they don't want a break."
To highlight how seriously United are taking the Europa League, Solskjaer said the team will be based in Germany, where the quarter-final ties and beyond will be played. This edition of the Europa League has been reformatted to a knockout competition as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
MAN UNITED V LASK
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