Borussia Dortmund, Clubs, English Premier League, Jadon Sancho, Manchester City, Story, Transfers

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MANCHESTER — Jadon Sancho had “shaken hands” on a new deal at Manchester City before changing his mind and moving to Borussia Dortmund, according to Pep Guardiola.

The England under-17 international was highly rated by the City boss and he had planned to integrate him in his first team squad — starting with the preseason tour to the United States.

But while fellow youngsters Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz impressed on the tour, Guardiola says Sancho was left behind after changing his mind about signing a new deal. The 17-year-old was sold to Dortmund on transfer deadline day in a deal worth £8 million and Guardiola admits he was frustrated to see him go.

“We [had an] agreement with Sancho, we shook our hands, we offered him a huge deal in terms of the salary, he would have been a well-paid in the academy,” Guardiola told a news conference.

“We believed the next step is to train every single day like it happened with Foden and Brahim would have trained every single day with us, he decided or [his advisers] decided I am not going to sign the contract.

“And we said OK you are not going to travel to the States because if you are not going to sign the contract, you are not going to the States, you are going to stay here.

“After that, the last two or three weeks he didn’t appear in the training sessions. He should come but he didn’t. I said: ‘Where are you?’ I don’t know, he didn’t train and after an agreement with Dortmund he played there and all I can say is big luck to him, because he has a huge talent.”

Jadon Sancho in action for Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup Final.
Jadon Sancho moved to Borussia Dortmund on a five-year contract.

Guardiola says he couldn’t given the winger any assurances about first-team opportunities but insisted that is the case with all his players at the club.

“I cannot assure you, even the best players we have like Sergio and other ones, that you are going to play,” he added.

“I never did I am not going to tell you I assure you you will play all the games in the season to sign the contract, I would be a liar, it’s not true.”

The City boss admitted he was disappointed with Sancho’s decision and believes he has the potential to have a big future and predicted he could become a full England international after starring at the under-17s European Championship in the summer where he was named the Golden Player.

“It’s disappointing because he has been here since a long time ago, we have tried to build him up and say maybe in one or two years he might play,” Guardiola said.

“I know how well he played in the national teams and we tried, we made absolutely everything but I think it was not the fact that the salary, maybe he thought he would get more minutes at Dortmund and I can understand that.

“He visualised that he will play more than here. I don’t know what will happen. We will see because in the end they have to show on the pitch their quality because they have to know, he has to know, the family has to know and especially the managers have to know we had a lot of confidence in him.

“We put a lot of confidence in him, like we did with Foden and Brahim and other guys to help them to grow up from here. But at the end when they don’t want to stay, there is nothing to stay.”

Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.

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