Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has confirmed a meeting concerning a move for Jadon Sancho to Manchester United did take place, but the teenager had "no intention" of making the switch in the summer.
Sancho, 19, enjoyed a breakout season with Dortmund in the Bundesliga in 2018-19, when he netted 12 goals and provided 14 assists:
"A hot topic right now is Sancho and Manchester United. Both his discussions with the club and mine with the consultants. A meeting did take place. Manchester United invited the consultant. But, according to what I know, the consultant told the club that no matter how much money they offer, we won't let him go this summer. But the player also has no intention of taking that step this summer."
At the start of 2019-20, Sancho has picked up where he left off last term. In three Bundesliga games this season, he has scored twice and provided three assists as BVB have beaten Augsburg and Koln and lost to Union Berlin.
In England's 5-3 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying win over Kosovo on Tuesday, Sancho then netted a double, his first senior international goals in his eighth appearance for the Three Lions:
Sancho moved to Dortmund from Manchester City in 2017 after being denied first-team opportunities by manager Pep Guardiola. It has proved a savvy move, as he has been allowed to flourish at Dortmund, where he has a contract until 2022.
In all likelihood, the likes of United and Real will attempt to sign Sancho again next summer, and Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has said he knows the Englishman will not stay in the Bundesliga forever.
Dortmund will know, though, that the longer Sancho continues to perform at such a high level for them, the bigger the transfer fee they can demand. He is likely already worth more than most European clubs could afford.
City, United and Real are among those who have the financial clout to meet just about any fee Dortmund might demand, and if he is destined for a return to Manchester, Old Trafford seems the more likely destination.
City's attacking options are so plentiful that Sancho may again find his playing time limited despite how good his form has been in Germany. At United, though, he could be a superstar, especially if manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finds this season that Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Mason Greenwood do not constitute a title-challenging attacking unit.