Jadon Sancho is seemingly stuck at Manchester United after Al-Ettifaq were unable to secure a move for him on deadline day in Saudi Arabia.
After a public divide with Erik ten Hag, Sancho is facing an uncertain future as a Man Utd player. The fact that the Saudi Pro League transfer window is open still has given him a potential escape route to explore.
Al-Ettifaq have established themselves as suitors for Sancho after also signing Demarai Gray from Everton before the Saudi deadline on Thursday to strengthen Steven Gerrard’s squad, which also contains Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Moussa Dembele.
However, various sources are now confirming Sancho’s move to Saudi Arabia is off. David Ornstein and Fabrizio Romano, two of the top sources in the business, have denied he will be joining Al-Ettifaq.
Further information has filtered through via the Daily Mail, which has revealed that Gerrard’s side could not afford to pay the £50m obligatory fee that would have come at the end of his proposed loan move.
Man Utd were willing to let them have Sancho until the end of the season for free, relying on the obligation clause to recoup some money for the England international (having previously set an asking price of £45m to consider a summer sale).
Despite all the riches in the Saudi Pro League at present, Al-Ettifaq have been unable to make such a commitment. Therefore, Sancho will have to look elsewhere for an exit route.
What next for Sancho?
As things stand, it remains unclear if he will seek to go to another country where the window will remain open a while longer, or if he will be stuck at Man Utd until January, when the main markets open again.
Sancho, still only 23 years of age, remains under contract at Old Trafford until 2026, with the option of a further year.
Since his long-awaited arrival from Borussia Dortmund in 2o21, his output has been fairly underwhelming, with just 12 goals from 82 appearances.
He has played three times this season, but as a substitute in each of those instances. Ten Hag notably left him out of the squad altogether for the recent loss to Arsenal after making accusations about his standards in training, which Sancho has strongly countered.