Borussia Dortmund chief Michael Zorc is adamant Jadon Sancho was not benched because of talk of a transfer to Manchester United.
Sancho was among the substitutes as Erling Haaland’s brace ensured Dortmund would finish runners up in the Bundesliga after they won 2-0 at RB Leipzig.
The 20-year-old has scored 17 goals and assisted 14 in the league this season. That impressive form has confirmed him as one of the best young players in Europe.
Sancho was among the substitutes for the first three games back after football returned. However, he then scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 win over Paderborn.
Sancho remains United’s top summer transfer target, but Dortmund’s £120m valuation is proving to be a point of contention. It’s led to suggestions that the Red Devils looking at cheaper alternatives.
A report on Saturday claimed ‘something was brewing’ over Sancho’s future and amid a worrying admission from Zorc. When he was later benched, that only served to add fuel to the fire, amid claims his ‘head was already at United’.
Zorc though says the decision to bench Sancho was tactical and says he was too tired to play the full game.
“We have had many injuries in the past few weeks and have not been able to rotate like other teams,” Zorc told Sport1 .
“Jadon is completely tired and told the coach before the game that he had no energy to play 90 minutes.
“You saw that in the game.”
Much has been made of Dortmund holding out for their €120m valuation of the player, which would prove prohibitive to Manchester United.
But Bild journalist Christian Falk says his fee could fall to €100m (£90m) though he sees any deal happening in 2021, not this year.
He tweeted: “Because of many requests about @Sanchooo10 @bvb sees still no reason to sell the player this summer.
“Exception: a club offers a transfer fee over 100 million euros @ManUtd”.
HAMANN SAYS SANCHO WILL JOIN MAN UTD
That opinion is contradicted by former Liverpool star Didi Hamann. He thinks the 20-year-old will be on the move this summer – and United could very well be his next destination.
“I see him going to the Premier League. The most likely option there is Manchester United.”
He then added: “It would be nice to see some reason there.
“Before the Coronavirus crisis, last season, the 20 clubs in the league made a loss of around €670 million. Perhaps smaller transfer fees and less salary will now be paid to players across the board.
“Investors can dig into their pockets to make up for a deficit. Of course there is an absurdly high TV income in England. But the investors give the clubs completely new opportunities.
“That is why the idea of solidarity in the clubs is also different.
“In the Bundesliga, players have waived their salary so that no one had to be fired in the offices.
“In England, the 20 captains got together and donated some of their salary to the NHS.”