What is the latest with Jadon Sancho at Manchester United? Could the £73 million signing be headed back to Borussia Dortmund?

Jadon Sancho’s Manchester United career appears all but over. 

Having fallen foul of Erik ten Hag’s disciplinarian approach at Old Trafford after posting an unhappy message on X (formerly Twitter) when the United manager left him out of the matchday squad to face Arsenal back in September, Sancho’s relationship with the Dutch manager has been left in tatters.

Ten Hag said Sancho’s performances in training had not been up to scratch, a claim Sancho disputed, adding “don’t believe everything you read”. And although the England international deleted the post, he’s been training separately and hasn’t appeared in a United game since.

The Sporting News looks at the relationship between Ten Hag and Sancho, what both men have said and if there’s any way back for him at Manchester United.

MORE: Jadon Sancho outburst symptomatic of wider Man United problems

What has happened between Jadon Sancho and Erik ten Hag?

To understand the full picture, let’s take it back to October of last year when Sancho missed United training and matches for around three months.

He was granted time away from the club due to “physical and mental issues” according to Ten Hag. Sancho was then sent to the Netherlands to train alone with coaches appointed by the United manager.

Ten Hag reintegrated him into the side in February of this year and Sancho scored against Leeds United in his first game back in the Premier League. The forward was included in nearly every squad for the rest of the season but was primarily a substitute. His 2022/23 campaign saw him score seven goals across his 41 appearances.

Fast forward to the pre-season tour of 2023 and it looked as though United may finally have the player they thought they had signed from Borussia Dortmund for £73 million in 2021. He looked sharp and it even appeared as though he may have a new role in the starting XI when he scored a fantastic goal against the Gunners in New York.

For United’s opening four Premier League games of the season, Sancho was on the bench for three and excluded from the squad in the other. Ten Hag was questioned for leaving him out for the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal and said: “On his performance on training we didn’t select him. You have to reach the level every day at Manchester United. You can make choices in the front line, so in this game he wasn’t selected.” 

Since then, reports suggested tensions had built between Ten Hag and Sancho in training, with the Dutchman unhappy with the player’s commitment levels behind the scenes.

Jadon Sancho statement: What did he say?

Sancho took exception to Ten Hag’s suggestion he was not training to the required standard and the Arsenal snub.

In a social media post that was initially pinned to his profile but has since been deleted, Sancho said: “Please don’t believe everything you read! I will not allow people saying things that [are] completely untrue. I have conducted myself in training very well this week.

“I believe there are other reasons for this matter that I won’t get into, I’ve been a scapegoat for a long time which isn’t fair!”

Sancho then added: “All I want to do is to play football with a smile on my face and contribute to my team.”

Ten Hag then took the decision to banish Sancho from group training and make him unavailable for selection, until he apologises for his outburst. He’s not been involved in any of United’s past four matches and his time in purgatory looks set to continue.

United posted the following statement saying: “Jadon Sancho will remain on a personal training programme away from the first-team group, pending resolution of a squad discipline issue.”

MORE: The next Premier League manager to be sacked: Who’s the favourite?

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Will Sancho play for Manchester United again?

Following the initial fall-out, it was suggested that a potential move to Saudi Arabia could be on the cards for Sancho, given the transfer window for most of Europe’s major leagues was already closed. A possible return back to Dortmund is a deal that is looking likely and one that could be completed in the January transfer window. 

It appears a long way back to the squad under Ten Hag, but with his job under pressure, Sancho could be tempted to try and outlast his boss and therefore a six-month loan back to Germany could be perfect to get the Englishman back to match fitness.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS now have sporting control of the club and it’s been reported he is desperate to fix the recruitment strategy as many believe the majority of incomings over the last decade have been a waste of money.

Considering Sancho cost £73 million and United chased him for the good part of 18 months, Ratcliffe may want to assess the situation himself. If the British billionaire is to remove Ten Hag and make his own appointment for the head coach role shortly, Sancho may be provided a lifeline, but even then, he’d have to earn the fans’ trust.

According to The Mirror three United first-team regulars encouraged Sancho to issue an apology to Ten Hag to resolve the situation but that is yet to happen. “It depends on him,” Ten Hag told the media back in September.

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