Jadon Sancho will not be leaving Borussia Dortmund for an astronomical transfer fee in the summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Paul Merson.
The 20-year-old has been linked with a £100 million ($125m) move to Manchester United – a deal that would make him the most expensive English player of all time.
However, with the current Covid-19 outbreak halting football worldwide and putting significant financial pressure on clubs, former Arsenal midfielder Merson believes big-money transfers will disappear from the game for a while.
“All the talk about Jadon Sancho commanding a £100m-plus transfer fee has been blown out of the water if you ask me,” Merson said in his weekly column for Daily Star.
“Borussia Dortmund are said to be demanding in excess of that figure for one of Europe’s hottest young talents, but they can forget it.
“There’s no way that’s going to be happening. It’s gone – over and out.
“Top clubs can’t be putting staff on furlough and then start forking out that kind of money the minute the transfer window opens.
“It’s not just the fee, but with players in that price bracket comes a pay packet of around £300,000 a week and that’s just not going to be happening.
“The landscape has changed not just for everyone on the planet but for football as well.
“Really big-money moves may be off the table for quite some time.
“With the financial situation as it is, how would it look for clubs struggling to pay their staff and then transfer deadline day arrives and it flashes up on the screen that £900m or whatever has been splashed out on players? There would be uproar.”
Watford academy product Sancho has become one of football’s hottest properties since leaving Manchester City without a single first-team appearance to his name in 2017, adapting to life in Germany with Dortmund like a duck to water.
The winger has scored an impressive 31 goals and created 42 assists across three seasons in the Bundesliga – while also earning a regular place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
Chelsea and Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in signing Sancho, as have Bayern Munich and French champions Paris Saint-Germain.