Football

Sancho off for Dortmund’s pre-season camp amid transfer speculation

Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho left with his team for a pre-season training camp in Switzerland on Monday (Aug 10), amid ongoing speculation of a possible transfer to the English Premier League.

The 20-year-old England international, who has a contract with the German club until 2022, had a stellar season with the Bundesliga runners-up and has been reportedly targeted by several top clubs, including Manchester United.

Sancho scored 20 goals and set up another 20 in all competitions last season for Dortmund, who said they would let him go only if their valuation was met fully.

United have been heavily linked with a move for Sancho, but media reports say the club have baulked at Dortmund’s valuation of around 120 million euros (S$194m), which would make him the Bundesliga’s most expensive transfer ever and would see the German top division lose arguably its most exciting young player.

Sancho, however, flew with his team to Switzerland for the start of their pre-season training on Monday, a point at which Dortmund had said any deal with the Red Devils would be off the table.

But United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is understood to be relaxed about the situation, insisting any deadline is purely artificial, the Daily Mail reported.

Even though the summer transfer window for international deals closes on Oct 5, Dortmund had set the Aug 10 deadline because they wanted undisturbed preparation for the 2020-21 Bundesliga season, which kicks off on Sept 18.

It has also been reported that the England forward is desperate to sign for United, with personal terms expected to be a formality. The hang up now is the agreement between the two clubs, both on the total fee itself and the structure of the deal in terms of bonus payments.

The 31-strong Dortmund group – which also includes 17-year-old sensation Jude Bellingham – travelling to Switzerland’s Grand Resort Bad Ragaz for an eight-day training camp does not include  captain Marco Reus and defender Marcel Schmelzer as they stayed behind to recover from injuries.

It is unclear when Reus, who has been sidelined for months with a groin injury, will be able to return to training. – REUTERS

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