Jadon Sancho might leave Borussia Dortmund one day, director Sebastian Kehl has admitted – but it won’t be in this transfer window.
Manchester United have been desperate to sign Sancho, but the Bundesliga club made clear early in the summer that he would not leave unless their asking price was met.
Dortmund wanted a deal to be completed before their pre-season training camp started on August 10, and United failed to meet the reported €120 million (£108m/$141m) asking price before then.
United have remained keen on a move, with shortcomings in their squad badly exposed as they suffered a humbling 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in their opening game of the Premier League season.
Dortmund have had a happier start to their own campaign. They beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-0 in their opening Bundesliga game, and Sancho scored their first goal of the season in a 5-0 cup win over Duisburg - which also featured a record-breaking debut goal for Jude Bellingham, who snubbed Man Utd to join Dortmund.
With momentum behind them, Kehl says Dortmund are confident of keeping a happy Sancho at the club.
“Jadon has trained well and professionally,” Kehl told Ruhr Nachrichten. “He is happy to play football.
“Yes, someday he might leave for a new challenge but right now he is happy at Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Dortmund is happy to have him.
"He is here - and he will stay here. It was an important statement from the club because we have a certain responsibility. Without Jadon, this team is worse."
One game into the new season, frustration is already beginning to mount around United.
While their top-four rivals have all strengthened, Donny van de Beek remains the only major signing of the summer window at Old Trafford, and there remains a question mark over how he will fit in midfield alongside Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.
Former defender Patrice Evra made his disappointment perfectly clear as he launched into a scathing 20-minute attack on the club’s hierarchy over how they conduct their transfer business.
However Steve McClaren, formerly Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant manager, has defended Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, arguing there has been a ‘massive overreaction’ to the Crystal Palace result.