Manchester United offered Jadon Sacho lower wages than he is on at Borussia Dortmund to sign him this summer, according to reports.

Sancho, 20, was United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s No 1 target during the summer transfer window, but Dortmund’s £108million valuation proved an insurmountable obstacle despite months of on-off talks.

According to The Athletic, the Old Trafford club were never on the verge of signing the England star and that initial calculations for a deal rose to a staggering £227m (€250m).

The report claims that United – conscious of maintaining their wage structure – initially proposed a salary that was less than Sancho’s total pay packet at Dortmund, before a second offer in early August only matched his Dortmund deal, with the potential for a marginal increase based on performance.

Neither deal was accepted by Sancho’s camp, with the report claiming the terms desired were thought to be in the region of United and France midfielder Paul Pogba’s £250,000 a week.

There was eventually a breakthrough on the wide forward’s salary in the second week of September, but the report adds the transfer fee remained a stumbling block and with differences between the two clubs on the matter, other options were considered.

United reportedly argued that Sancho’s £108m valuation did not take into account the financial slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with club chiefs feeling the price should have been lowered.

But the outlet adds that initial calculations rose to £227m with wages and agent fees, leaving United with no choice but to refuse that amount.

However, the report adds Dortmund originally wanted the £108m fee as a ‘minimum’ and ideally planned to receive a fee nearer the £133m (€147m) mark that Barcelona paid for Ousmane Dembele in 2017.

United reportedly never got close to that guaranteed sum, with one offer, submitted by chief negotiator Matt Judge through agents in the final week of September, amounting to £80m plus add-ons.

Once handed to Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke, it was immediately rejected as too little too late, increasing the sense at Signal Iduna Park that United did not take Dortmund’s demands seriously or were acting without really wanting to complete the signing.

The Bundesliga side had remained adamant throughout the window that Sancho would be staying put.

Dortmund had imposed a deadline of August 10 for United to meet their £108m valuation of the player, but after United failed to meet that deadline, sporting director Michael Zorc said in August the German giants would keep Sancho for a further season.

And as recently as Friday, Dortmund Zorc reiterated the German club’s stance on the matter, adding: ‘Everything that can be said on this subject has already been said. Nothing will change that.’

Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel and captain Marco Reus are among the players to have expressed their delight that Sancho was staying for at least another year.

United also failed in their attempts to sign a high-profile alternative, with Barcelona refusing to do business on a loan deal for Dembele and were only interested in a permanent transfer.

The club however did manage to bring in an attacking reinforcement on deadline day, with 33-year-old Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani joining on a two-year-deal having left Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

Sancho however has been in hot water this week after being forced to apologise for breaking lockdown rules by attending Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham’s birthday party.

Ben Chilwell and around 20 others gathered for the forward’s surprise party and their arrival in the England camp for fixtures against Wales, Belgium and Denmark this week will be delayed has subsequently been delayed.

Sancho posted on Instagram: ‘I would like to apologise for breaking the government guidelines and although I was unaware upon arriving of the numbers attending, I take full responsibility of my actions.

‘I will make sure moving forward that I learn from this.’