Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre has suggested the speculation surrounding Jadon Sancho’s future may have played a role in the forward's slow start to the new season in Germany.
Sancho was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United during the summer transfer window, but the Red Devils could not come to an agreement with Dortmund, who refused to drop their asking price of £108m.
The 20-year-old has scored just once in his six appearances for Dortmund so far this season and also failed to make an impact for England over the recent international breaks.
Speaking ahead of his side's Champions League clash with Zenit Saint Petersburg, Favre conceded that the recent transfer talk could still be a distraction despite the window closing.
"Every player has slow periods," Favre told reporters, as quoted by the Mirror. "There was a lot of talk about Jadon in the summer, something like that can also have an influence.
"But no player is consistently in top form for a year, that's impossible. You have to accept that."
Sancho is still believed to be a main target for United, although Liverpool and Bayern Munich could also allegedly join the hunt next summer. The former Manchester City youngster's contract with BVB expires in June 2023.
That said, Sancho is not the only Dortmund star on United’s transfer wish list. Young striker Erling Braut Haaland has caught the eye of the recruitment team at Old Trafford, though they're hardly the only team interested.
The 20-year-old has scored an incredible 53 goals in his last 53 games in all competitions for club and country and has been linked with most members of the European elite.
Despite Haaland turning down a previous offer from United, the Norwegian has a £68m buyout clause in his contract which becomes active in 2022 that the Red Devils could look at in the future.