Now, United fans are feeling a familiar sense of foreboding amid reports they are threatening to walk away from negotiations over Sancho’s transfer fee.
With £108million riding on this high-stakes poker game, it seems United believe the asking price for the England star is too high in the current economic climate.
They think Dortmund are being unrealistic in their demands and clearly want to drive the price down. It’s also understood there’s no agreement over personal terms as yet.
There’s also the factor of not allowing Dortmund to dictate all the terms of the negotiations, which they’re attempting to do by setting deadlines supposedly designed to minimise disruption to their pre-season plans.
United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is well accustomed to these summers of bluff and counter-bluff. It’s rare that United don’t pursue big-name, big-money targets.