Sancho changed mind – Guardiola

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Jadon Sancho will take the number seven shirt vacated by Ousmane Dembele

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he shook hands on a new deal with Jadon Sancho, only for the England Under-17 international to change his mind and sign for Borussia Dortmund instead.

Sancho was one of City’s most highly rated young players and won player of the tournament at this summer’s European Under-17 Championship.

Guardiola was intending to pick Sancho for City’s US tour before bringing him into the first-team squad on a regular basis.

He said: “We offered him a huge deal and we shook hands.

“But before we went to the States, he said ‘I am not going to sign’.”

Instead of going on tour, 17-year-old Sancho remained in Manchester but then, after City returned, the winger stopped coming to training.

Guardiola said: “In the last two or three weeks he didn’t appear in the training sessions. He should come but he didn’t.

“We tried a lot. We met the father and his manager but if the player says ‘no, no, no, no, no’, what can we do?”

For a club that have invested heavily in their academy, building a top training centre and reaching the FA Youth Cup final three years in a row, it has been an unwelcome turn of events.

Guardiola does not think the problem was financial.

Sancho has been omitted from Dortmund’s squad for the Champions League group phase but he has been given the number seven shirt, suggesting he will be involved on a regular basis this season, something Guardiola could not guarantee at City.

He said: “I cannot assure even the best players like Sergio [Aguero] they are going to play all the games.”

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