Manchester United have not given up hope of signing Jadon Sancho despite Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc insisting the England international will still be with the German club for the 2020/21 season.
The Old Trafford giants are looking to make the 20-year-old their marquee signing this summer, but Dortmund are holding out for a fee in the region of 120million euros (£108million).
BVB set August 10 – the day they travelled to their pre-season training camp – as the deadline for a deal to be agreed, although United have long expected talks to go beyond that.
Yet with nothing in place and Dortmund ensconced in Bad Regaz, Switzerland, Zorc confidently announced on Monday afternoon that Sancho would not be going anywhere.
"We are planning around Jadon," he said. "He will be a BVB player next season.
"The decision is final. Last year, we adjusted Jadon's salary to match his performance development. While doing so, we also extended the length of the contract until 2023."
Zorc's revelation that Sancho's contract has three years left to run and not two as many originally thought surprised, but it is understood United are not giving up on a deal – even if they find BVB's decision to work through the player's agent unusual.
There is also growing frustration at Old Trafford about the pace of discussions, while player and agent fees are a not inconsequential issue that need ironing out.
"To be honest, we've been rather astonished at some of the stories we've read in the past few weeks and have been – as you may have noticed – very relaxed about the whole situation," Zorc added.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to ask the media to be slightly more considerate of the fact the boy is only 20 years old. Not every rumour should be pursued – it's better to stick to the facts."
Sancho has flourished in Germany since joining Dortmund from Manchester City in a £10million deal in 2017.