Manchester United made a bizarre deadline day offer for a Borussia Dortmund player, but it was not Jadon Sancho.
According to ESPN, the Red Devils made a loan bid for left-back Nico Schulz which involved a €1 million (£900,000) loan fee and full payment of the player’s salary.
Schulz joined Dortmund a year ago from Hoffenheim for €25.5 million (£23m) but has struggled at Signal Iduna Park. He was in Dortmund’s starting eleven just seven times and made just 18 appearances across all competitions overall in 2019/20.
With a deal for FC Porto’s Alex Telles already in the bag 24 hours earlier, it is hard to understand what on earth United’s negotiators were thinking and the approach left Dortmund understandably ‘baffled’.
‘Sources said the move for Schulz led Dortmund to question the credentials of United’s recruitment and scouting team,’ ESPN’s Stephan Uersfeld reports.
‘That United were keen on a player who has barely featured for Dortmund surprised the club, and the enquiry was knocked back.’
It is hard to even speculate as to why United attempted the move. It could, perhaps, have been related to the reported 11th hour attempt of Brandon Williams to secure a loan move to Southampton, as he was concerned about a lack of potential game time following Telles’ arrival.
However, surely any Williams loan deal could have included a recall option in the event of an injury crisis with his home club.
Uersfeld’s sources at Dortmund also confirmed that United’s final bid for Jadon Sancho – €90 million plus €15 in variables ((£81.5 + £13.5) arrived far too late, seven weeks after Dortmund’s deadline, and was rejected out of hand.
‘Even if United had offered over the £108m demanded from Dortmund on deadline day, the move would have been rejected as the club hierarchy had made their position clear and accepting a bid would have seen their reputation plummet among the club’s supporters’ – a fact that had been clear to everyone except United themselves and the English press since the middle of August.
This summer’s transfer window has been one of the strangest in living memory. So cast your mind back to less stressful days and test your knowledge of past United arrivals and departures in our quiz below.