Dortmund CEO slams Scholes and Hargreaves for Sancho 'bluffing' claims

‘I don’t know if they are transfer experts’: Borussia Dortmund CEO fires back at Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves for suggesting they are bluffing in refusing to sell £108m Jadon Sancho to Manchester United

  • Dortmund’s CEO hit out at ex-United stars Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves 
  • The pair claimed Dortmund were bluffing in their refusal to sell Jadon Sancho 
  • But Hans-Joachim Watzke said the decision to keep the winger was ‘set in stone’
  • He said Scholes and Hargreaves were great players but not ‘transfer experts’ 

Dortmund chief Hans-Joachim Watzke has slammed former Manchester United stars Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves for claiming the German side were ‘bluffing’ in their stance over Jadon Sancho. 

Speaking as pundits on BT Sport this week, the pair both said they were not convinced by sporting director Michael Zorc’s claim that the club would not be selling the 20-year-old to United and that their decision was final. 

Sancho is a top target for the Red Devils this summer, but the club have been repeatedly frustrated in negotiations for the star – with the Bundesliga outfit refusing to sell for anything less than £108million. 

Jadon Sancho has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford but talks have hit a wall 

Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc said club’s decision to keep the starlet was ‘final’

But former United stars Paul Scholes (L) and Owen Hargreaves (R) said Dortmund were bluffing

A deadline of August 10 was set to complete the transfer, and the player has now begun pre-season training. United don’t believe the missed deadline is a deal breaker and are still optimistic of getting the deal done. 

Hargreaves and Scholes said they felt the statement was a tactic by Dortmund to convince United to pay up, but Watzke dismissed their comments – saying they weren’t ‘transfer experts’ and reaffirmed that Sancho was going nowhere.

‘I read that too,’ he told the press after being quizzed on the pair’s comments. 

‘This is what experts like Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves claim. They were great footballers, and they are football experts. But I don’t know if they are transfer experts too. That Sancho stays with BVB is set in stone.’

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said the pair were not ‘transfer experts’ and that their stance on Sancho was ‘set in stone’

The player is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s top target and United have no plans to give up the pursuit

Dortmund have experience of being forced to sell their top stars in previous years, with Pierre-Emerick Aubamyang pushing through his £56m move to Arsenal in 2018, while Ousmane Dembele refused to train with the team prior to his £135m transfer to Barcelona in the same year. 

But Watzke said he is confident Sancho remains content in Germany and is enjoying playing under Lucien Favre after the player admitted he ‘loved playing with this bunch’ after featuring in a 6-0 friendly against Austrian side SCR Altach. 

‘I don’t see this danger at all,’ he added. At the [friendly] in Altach – as you know – Jadon himself explained how ‘happy he is in this special bunch’. 

‘We have a good exchange with his advisors. We acknowledge that Jadon responds very well. And he recognises that we have a good team that gives him a lot of fun playing football. He shows this joy every day now. In training. In the game.’

The England international appeared in a friendly for the Bundesliga side on Wednesday 

He gave the German outfit a huge boost by admitting he ‘loves playing with this bunch’

Speaking on BT Sport in the build up to United’s Europa League quarter-final against Copenhagen on Monday, Hargreaves, who spent four years at Old Trafford, said: ‘I’m calling their bluff. I think [Sancho] will be a Manchester United player in a pretty short time. 

‘They’re trying to get a bit more money out of it. That’s the nature of the beast. Obviously they know United are really interested, they’re pretty heavy into negotiations. I think they’re bluffing.’

And United legend Scholes agreed, saying: ‘They’re after a little bit more money out of it, aren’t they? He’s a great player. We’re talking £108m. That’s a lot of money to go to,’ he added. 

Sancho is not attempting to force a move to United but speculation continues to rage on 

Speaking after Dortmund’s win at Altach, Sancho confirmed he was enjoying his football with the team he joined as a teenager and was keen to inspire the young stars coming through the ranks – including fellow Brit Jude Bellingham – who signed from Birmingham last month. 

‘I love playing with this lot,’ he said. ‘It’s a special bunch. We’ve got some special young players coming up.’ 

‘I’m really happy to share the pitch with them and guide them. I was once in their shoes, playing with the seniors. I’m happy for them. 

‘I joined when I was 17, some of the lads are the same age. I’ve been there and done that. I can guide them in what’s good and what isn’t. I can hopefully motivate them as well.’

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