Manchester United are ready to put their bid to sign Jadon Sancho on hold for a year.
United are unwilling to meet Borussia Dortmund’s £108million asking price for the England winger when wages and agents fees would add another £100million to the cost of sealing the deal.
Old Trafford chiefs feel Dortmund’s valuation is unrealistic in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.
And handing the 20-year-old a salary close to £300,000-a-week would also shatter the club’s pay structure.
United are now set to play a waiting game to land Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s No 1 target – unless all the parties involved re-evaluate their expectations.
United believe that the full economic ramifications of the pandemic will reset both the transfer market and salaries after years of spiralling costs.
And with Sancho unwilling to force his departure from Dortmund just three years after his refusal to turn up for training at Manchester City prompted United’s rivals to allow the forward to move to Germany, the feeling at Old Trafford is that it would be foolish to blink first.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has worked hard to get the highest wage bill in the Premier League under control over the last 12 months.
More than £1million-a-week has been saved getting Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Ander Herrera and Ashley Young off the payroll.
Dortmund director of football Michael Zorc has insisted that Sancho will remain in Germany for another season following a summer of speculation.
Zorc’s revelation that the player has signed a contract extension until 2023 also strengthens Dortmund’s hand.
United risk inviting competition from the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris St Germain, Liverpool and Chelsea next summer.
They currently have a clear run at Sancho – and Solskjaer will be disappointed if the player remains out of reach.
The United boss told Sunday Mirror Sport last week that his club must spend big in the transfer market if he is to close the gap on Liverpool and City at the top of the Premier League.
Solskjaer hit a £100million jackpot by guiding the Reds back to the Champions League.