Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag leaves door ajar for Jadon Sancho return as clear demand issued | Football | Sport

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has left the door open for Jadon Sancho to return to the Red Devils squad. Sancho has been banished from the first-team since September after a public falling-out with his manager.

Sancho felt that he had been made a “scapegoat for a long time” after United’s 3-1 defeat by Arsenal earlier this season, in which he was omitted from the matchday squad. Ten Hag publicly revealed that his exclusion was prompted by what he said was poor training performances.

A strongly-worded statement contradicting Ten Hag’s comments remained pinned to Sancho’s X account for several days. It was later taken down but the 23-year-old has not apologised over the episode – a condition to his reintegration.

Some reports have speculated that it could be too late for Sancho to say sorry. However, Ten Hag insists that Sancho knows what must happen for him to be allowed back into the senior set-up at their Carrington training complex.

“So it is about a culture and every player has to match certain standards and it was about that,” Ten Hag said when asked if Sancho will ever return to his squad during Friday’s press conference.

“What will happen there, he knows what he has to do, if he wants to return and it is up to him. He knows what he has to do, it is up to him.”

Sancho has been strongly linked with a January exit. A return to Borussia Dortmund, where he became one of Europe’s hottest prospects, has been suggested as a possible conclusion to a bitter story.

According to Sky Germany, Sancho is open to that switch but harbours a desire to fight for his career at Old Trafford. Dortmund are reportedly prepared to offer former Arsenal youngster Donyell Malen in a swap deal, but there is supposedly uncertainty over whether that move is financially viable for either club.

Sancho became one of the most sought-after young players in world football during his time at Dortmund, forming a fruitful partnership with now-Manchester City ace Erling Haaland. But he has been unable to replicate his form in front of goal since his £73m return to England in 2021.

The South London-born forward has scored only 12 goals and provided six assists in 82 appearances for the Red Devils. It is incomparable to the form he showed in his four years in Germany, where he bagged 50 goals and set up a further 64 in only 137 games.

It is unclear if Sancho will be able to add to his United haul over the coming years. It is likely that he will need to issue a grovelling apology to Ten Hag.

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