Manchester United have agreed a deal in principle with Borussia Dortmund for Jadon Sancho to spend the rest of the season in Germany, but the England forward’s long-term future could still lie at Old Trafford.
There are still some issues to resolve, though Dortmund hope to have completed the deal to re-sign the 23-year-old by the end of the weekend, in time to join the club’s warm-weather training camp in Marbella.
There is, crucially, no option for Dortmund to buy the player, who spent four seasons in the Ruhr valley between 2017 and 2021 before joining United for £73m, at the end of the loan spell.
Sources close to the player have insisted Sancho does not want to completely give up on his United career yet, but in the short-term, the broken relationship between Sancho and Erik ten Hag means he is better away from Old Trafford for now.
The club plan to revisit what to do with Sancho in the summer, when new investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos will have assumed control of footballing matters at the club, should their 25 per cent stake be ratified in the coming weeks.
If Sancho was to rediscover his blistering form from his first spell in Germany, where he scored 50 goals in 137 games across all competitions, the England international’s value will make a sale more appealing to United, should Ten Hag still be at the helm and be unwilling to change his mind.
If United continue to flounder this season, and Ten Hag does depart, then insiders say there is hope of a fresh start for Sancho.
Sancho has not featured in United’s last 25 games after being dropped from the squad for September’s defeat by Arsenal. After the loss, Ten Hag publicly criticised his application in training, before Sancho responded with a social-media post calling his comments “completely untrue” and saying he had been made a “scapegoat”.
Ten Hag had insisted Sancho must apologise, something that has not been forthcoming, ensuring he has remained exiled to train with United’s academy youngsters.
Dortmund will pay a portion understood to be between 30 and 40 per cent of Sancho’s wages, i understands, with United to subsidise them in order for the deal to go through. A loan fee is still being negotiated, with around £3m expected to change hands.
Dortmund are also keen to get their former forward to Marbella as soon as possible to assess his fitness – something that has reportedly deteriorated rapidly during his exile from the first-team squad.
So early in the January transfer window, United could have hung on for a better deal for them, with several other European clubs having expressed an interest, but such is the desperation to move on from a difficult period, for player and club, the Dortmund deal has been fast-tracked.