Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has admitted that Jadon Sancho had “subconsciously prepared” for a recent move to Manchester United.
The Red Devils spent the best part of the last transfer window chasing a deal for the winger. But while he agreed personal terms, Dortmund’s £108million valuation proved too high for United.
Indeed, Old Trafford chiefs felt reluctant to splash out such a sum during the coronavirus pandemic.
As such, they opted to sign younger talents Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri, as well as experienced striker Edinson Cavani.
Speaking to Kicker, though, Watzke has said that Sancho may have been banking on a big-money transfer.
“Jadon might have been subconsciously prepared for a change. I think he had at least thought so much about it that he lost his ease, but I have found him trying very hard for weeks,” the chief said (via Sport Witness).
“The magic, as [Dortmund head coach] Edin Terzic put it, is not back yet, but he has not forgotten anything.”
Watzke’s comments come after Sancho’s dip in form so far this season. Indeed, the 20-year-old notched only his first Bundesliga goal in 12 outings last weekend against Wolfsburg.
However, he also notched an assist in the 2-0 win and Watzke added that the winger will rediscover his blistering form of last term if he can put a run of solid performances together.
“The biggest difference is: he used to not think about his next ball action. Now he thinks about it,” he said.
“And the tenth of a second he misses is often exactly the one in which the opponent is already standing on his feet. The more you try as a creative person, the more difficult it often becomes.
“I think he needs two or three successes in a row, then things will quickly improve again. He is still one of the greatest talents there is.”
Haaland under scrutiny like Sancho
Striker Erling Haaland is another Dortmund star whose future has been the subject of speculation.
Real Madrid have been mentioned as a potential suitor, potentially swooping in next summer’s market.
Watzke said: “I don’t think that will happen [Haaland leaving]. Erling and his advisor Mino Raiola know what they have in us. I can only give him the advice to do it like Robert Lewandowski.
“At the time, he was given the time to mature into an absolute world-class player at Dortmund.
“You can’t do that in one year. Because it’s clear that if Erling were to leave us at some point, he would only go to an even bigger club. And there aren’t that many to consider.
“If you go to a club like – just to name one example – Real Madrid, you have to be world class.”