Owen Hargreaves says Borussia Dortmund are ‘bluffing’ and Jadon Sancho will join Manchester United in ‘a pretty short time’.
The Red Devils’ pursuit of the England star appeared all but over after the Bundesliga giants insisted Sancho will play for them next season.
Dortmund had set a deadline of Monday for United to reach an agreement with them, but the club’s chief Michael Zorc insisted United have no chance of signing Sancho now after he jetted off with his team-mates to Switzerland for a pre-season training camp.
But Hargreaves believes the saga is far from over and that Zorc’s comments were simply a bargaining tactic designed to extract a few more million from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Hargreaves told BT Sport: ‘Bluff. I’m calling bluff, I think he’ll be a Man Utd player in a pretty short time,’ the former Manchester United midfielder told BT Sport.
‘They are just trying to get some more money out of it. It’s the nature of the beast.
‘Obviously they know United are really interested and they are pretty heavy into negotiations. I think they are bluffing and they know he is going to leave at that price.’
Sancho boarded the plane for Dortmund’s pre-season training camp in Switzerland at 9am on Monday morning – a point at which the Bundesliga runners-up had said any deal with United would be off the table.
The Bundesliga outfit want £108m for the England international, but the two clubs have not been able to reach an agreement with Manchester United wanting to pay a smaller lump sum up front than Dortmund are hoping for.
Robin Van Persie and Paul Scholes agreed with Hargreaves’ belief that Sancho will join the club during BT Sport’s coverage of Manchester United’s Europa League win over FC Copenhagen.
Van Persie said: ‘By the looks of it, Dortmund are playing hard ball.
‘Dortmund want more money so it depends on Man United, if they want to go the extra mile. If they really rate him and think he can be that big of a hit, they will.
‘They missed out on (Erling) Haaland and I think it was a missed chance. Because Everyone’s seen over the last six to eight months what he can do. He’s a brilliant player.
‘They don’t want to miss out on the next big thing but how far are they willing to go? That’s the trick question here. It’s business.’
Scholes added: ‘They’re just after a little bit more money out of it. They are talking about £108m, which is a lot of money. He looks a brilliant player who will improve any team in world football with his assists and his goals.’
Zorc revealed that Sancho had secretly come to terms on a contract extension last year taking him to 2023.
Dortmund defender Mats Hummels welcomed the news from Zorc saying that Sancho will remain a Dortmund player. ‘He can be the player who makes the difference. I’m happy that he stays,’ he said about Sancho on Monday.