Jadon Sancho was prepared for a change in the summer, Borussia Dortmund have now admitted.
Manchester United ’s No.1 target from the last transfer window has been in poor form this season.
Sancho’s slump has coincided with his failed move to Old Trafford ahead of the 2020/21 season.
The Red Devils failed to meet Dortmund’s £108m price-tag in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and its financial effects on the club.
As a result, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had to make do this term without a top-class natural option on the right of his attack.
Mason Greenwood, Daniel James and Marcus Rashford have rotated on that side of the pitch.
And Sancho remains on United’s radar as a proper solution for that role.
Following the England international’s first goal in eight matches for Dortmund, CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has spoken out on how the summer speculation impacted the 20-year-old’s game.
Watzke told Kicker : “Subconsciously, Jadon had probably already prepared a little for a change.
“I think he had at least thought so much about it that he lost his ease. I have found him trying very hard for weeks.'
“The biggest difference is that he used to not think about his next ball action.
“Now he thinks about it, and the tenth of a second that he misses is often exactly the one in which the opponent is already on his feet.
“The more you try as a creative person, the more difficult it often becomes.”
Sancho netted 17 times and picked up 17 assists last season, leading to United’s hot pursuit.
But he has only managed five goals in 19 games so far in the 2020/21 campaign.
United are not expected to move for Sancho in the January window, with Solskjaer set to bring in Amad Diallo from Atalanta imminently.