Manchester United remain determined to pursue a deal for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, despite the German club's insistance that Sancho will now not be sold this summer.
Dortmund set a deadline of August 10 for United to complete a deal for Sancho to ensure the transfer was done before pre-season, but their refusal to sell for anything less than £108m saw that deadline pass.
The Englishman was on the plane that headed for Dortmund's summer training camp on Monday, and sporting director Michael Zorc publicly insisted that Sancho will now remain a Dortmund player. But it has been confirmed to 90min that United are paying very little attention to those comments and are keen to continue negotiations.
Zorc does have a history of failing to stick to his transfer statements. In the past, he has stated that neither Ousmane Dembélé nor Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would be sold - just weeks before the pair sealed respective moves to Barcelona and Arsenal - and United believe that history could repeat itself with Sancho.
The main stumbling block thus far has been the cost of the deal. Dortmund are adamant they should not have to reduce their £108m asking price because of the coronavirus outbreak, especially because they automatically extended Sancho's contract by one year until 2023.
Dortmund's public stance has left Sancho feeling disappointed as he has openly admitted to the German side that he sees his future in Manchester, and he has made it clear that he is prepared to try force through an exit if Dortmund don't play ball.
He had initially hoped everything could be agreed amicably so as to protect his relationship with the club, and there was an optimism that he would get his way after Dortmund privately confirmed to Sancho last week that a deal was looking likely. But now he may have to take matters into his own hands.
United's dream was always to avoid breaking their own £89m club record, and there was previously a confidence that a deal could be done for around that price as the Red Devils received indications from intermediaries working on the deal that Dortmund were ready to go close to that mark.
However, that turned out to be incorrect as Dortmund remain committed to earning £108m, prompting United to grow frustrated with those intermediaries as well as BVB's insistence on using them in the first place.
Should Sancho choose to submit a transfer request, that would likely force Dortmund to lower their asking price to something closer to United's comfort zone.
In the meantime, Sancho remains in Switzerland with his Dortmund teammates as they prepare for the new Bundesliga season, but talks over his future will continue behind the scenes.