Manchester United’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho this summer appears all-but over after Borussia Dortmund insisted the England international will play for the Bundesliga giants next season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have been in hot pursuit of the England star and were still hopeful of getting a mega-money deal over the line despite missing Dortmund’s deadline to sign him earlier on Monday.
But on Monday, Dortmund 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.
Zorc said: ‘We plan with Jadon Sancho. He’ll play for us next season. The decision is final. I think that answers all of the questions.’
Dortmund defender Mats Hummels also welcomed the news. ‘He can be the player who makes the difference. I’m happy that he stays,’ he said about Sancho on Monday.
Zorc also went on to reveal that the club secretly renewed Sancho’s contract until 2023 a year ago.
German newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten – based in Dortmund – have reported that Sancho’s contract does not include a buy-out clause.
United and Dortmund were understood to have been far apart in terms of valuation, with the latter’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke resolute in holding out for a huge £108m for their prized asset.
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.
United, for their part, remain confident of landing Sancho, their No 1 target in this summer’s window.
Sancho is part of a 31-strong Dortmund group – which also includes 17-year-old sensation Jude Bellingham – that travelled to Switzerland’s Grand Resort Bad Ragaz for an eight-day training camp.
And Zorc was quick to confirm that United’s move for Sancho was off during his press conference on Monday afternoon in Switzerland.
Ed Woodward and the rest of the Old Trafford hierarchy were understood to have been relaxed about the situation prior to Zorc’s defiant message, insisting any deadline is purely artificial.
Dortmund had set the August 10 deadline because they wanted undisturbed preparation for the 2020-21 Bundesliga season.
The new campaign starts on 18 September, with the summer transfer window deadline for international deals not until October 5.
Sancho has been United’s top transfer target by far this summer, but Ed Woodward is understood to be exploring the likes of Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman and Juventus’ Douglas Costa as back-up options.
Now with Dortmund emphatically insisting a deal for Sancho is off, Woodward will potentially have to start looking at United’s alternative options.
Sancho has become one of the most sought after players in European football after shining in the German top-flight.
The winger, who has 11 caps to his name for England, scored 17 goals and registered 17 assists in the Bundesliga last season – becoming a key player for the German outfit over the past three seasons.