Instead they've reportedly had several bids rejected for less money, spread out over a longer period of time, and, with the transfer window closing on Monday, it now seems impossible for that deal to happen.
Neville has never shirked away from criticising his former club and he's labelled their transfer dealings as 'embarrassing.'
"The Sancho thing is embarrassing. It's been going on now for fourth months. It's embarrassing, that," he told the Off The Ball podcast.
"And then to put a bid in that gets rejected... the smart clubs, they have deals sorted behind the scenes, the agents are working hard, club officials are agreed on things and when the bids goes in it gets accepted, it's done.
"Who puts bids in nowadays that aren't accepted? That doesn't happen that often. Very rarely.
"Generally clubs have the deal sorted, the agents knows what the player's getting, the player knows what the club are getting, the club knows what the other club are getting. I just don't understand it at all, it's not great. That's why I've been critical."
Speaking about the club's dealings in the window in general in recent years, the Sky Sports commentator compared United to their rivals, saying, "I just don't think they're smart enough and wise enough and agile enough in the market.
"I was reading that Liverpool have accepted a bid for Rhian Brewster for £24m from Sheffield United. Liverpool aren't just buying smart, they're selling smart.
"I look at Chelsea and I think they buy smart, they seem to sell smart over the last 15 to 20 years.
"City spend a lot of money but they seem to get deals done, whereas United just don't seem to be able to get the deals done. Even with Harry Maguire last year, it dragged on right the way to the end, Sancho this year. They don't seem to be able to get deals over the line, they don't get things done efficiently or quietly.
"Liverpool announced [Diogo] Jota and Thiago [Alcantara] - I know Thiago had been linked for a bit - but it's done at reasonably prices, £27m and £40m, no hundreds so I just think they're not smart enough.
"They're being outwitted in the market by the other clubs and if you lose recruitment you don't win the league, it's as simple as that. You can have a great coach but if you don't get the right players you're not going to win the league."
So far this summer United's only signing has been Donny van de Beek and it's quite clear that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted more players.
The 13 times Premier League winners have been heavily linked with a move for Porto left-back Alex Telles and a central defender to partner Harry Maguire has also been mentioned.
Now it looks like Edinson Cavani will be joining them as an attacking option but they have just 35 hours to complete any other deals.
Featured Image Credit: PA/OTB
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read