Manchester United have not given up on signing Jadon Sancho after Borussia Dortmund insisted he would stay at the club.
The MEN understands United are frustrated by the slow pace of negotiations with Dortmund through the agent Marco Lichtsteiner, brother of former Juventus and Arsenal defender Stephan.
United sources have described it as 'unusual' of Dortmund to have hired an intermediary to act on their behalf and claim Sancho's wage demands and agents fees continue to be an 'obstacle'. United are determined not to repeat mistakes of the past in overpaying the agent.
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc claimed the club had extended Sancho's contract to 2023 and that the decision on him staying was 'final'.
"We plan with Jadon Sancho," Zorc said at Dortmund's training camp in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland. "He'll play for us next season. The decision is final. I think that answers all of the questions.
"Last summer we adjusted the salary to the performance development of Jadon. So in context, we had already extended the contract until 2023."
Sancho, 20, flew with the rest of the Dortmund squad to their training base on the day of a deadline the Bundesliga runners-up had set United to sign the England international.
The MEN last month reported United were relaxed amid Dortmund's tactics to unnerve them in their pursuit of Sancho and sources in Germany say Dortmund want to 'own the story'.
United were irritated by inaccurate reports emanating from Germany that they had agreed terms with Sancho. United sources have described Sancho's wage expectations as a 'real situation', with the England international currently on around £75,000-a-week at Dortmund.
If a move for Sancho fails to materialise, United are prepared to look to alternatives amid interest in Schalke winger Rabbi Matondo and Bayern Munich forward Kingsley Coman. United view the right wing as a priority position to strengthen and only signed Daniel James last year after they failed with a move for Sancho.
The MEN previously reported Sancho had confided in friends at former club Manchester City he would relish returning to Manchester to play for United. The MEN first revealed United's interest in Sancho when they tried to sign him from City in 2017 but their rivals blocked a move and Sancho joined Dortmund for £8m.