‘No contact’ from Man United over Sancho, say Dortmund
August 06 2020 11:32 PM
Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho trains yesterday. (Reuters)

Borussia Dortmund boss Hans-Joachim Watzke says the Bundesliga runners-up have had “no contact” with Manchester United over England winger Jadon Sancho. According to UK media reports, Man United want to sign the 20-year-old who scored 17 goals and created the same number of assists last season as Dortmund finished second behind champions Bayern Munich.
Sancho is valued at around 120mn euros ($142mn) and Dortmund have said they have yet to receive an offer for their talented forward who joined in 2017 from Manchester City’s academy. 
“So far, there has been no contact between Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United in terms of Sancho,” chief executive Watzke told 
Munich-based newspaper 
Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
“Not even indirectly or through so-called middlemen. There has never been an offer for Jadon, but there is a certain sum from us as to what should at least be paid,” Watzke added, referring to the 120mn euros price tag. “I don’t expect there to be any problems. Jadon has accepted the situation and is a pleasant, fair bloke.”
Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc says he plans to have Sancho in the squad for the new German league season, which kicks off on September 18. However, the transfer window in both Germany and England does not close until October 5, a date extended due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
Dortmund need to handle Sancho carefully as both former stars Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang forced transfers to Barcelona in 2017 and Arsenal in 2018 respectively by effectively going on strike.
Four countries offer 
to act as neutral venues 
for UEFA matches
Greece, Cyprus, Hungary and Poland have offered to act as neutral venues for UEFA competition matches if Covid-19 related-travel restrictions prevent them being played in the originally-scheduled country, the European football body said. 
The qualifying rounds for next season’s Champions League and Europa League are due to be played between Aug. 8 and Oct. 1 but rapidly changing travel restrictions around Europe are making them difficult to organise.
UEFA said that Greece, Cyprus, Hungary and Poland would provide “neutral venue hubs”. They would make stadiums available on scheduled match dates and their authorities would also offer a travel corridor so games could be played without restrictions. 
In guidelines published on Tuesday, UEFA said that home clubs must propose an alternative venue in a neutral country if travel restrictions make it impossible to play in the allotted venue. Home clubs will forfeit matches if they fail to inform UEFA of restrictions, or if restrictions are imposed less than 48 hours before kickoff.
UEFA has already reduced the qualifying ties to one leg, except for the Champions League playoff round.
UEFA has also ruled that if one or more players from a team test positive for Covid-19, the match can still go ahead unless the national or local authorities of one or both the clubs involved require the entire squad to be quarantined. Re-scheduling of a match will only be considered if fewer than 13 players from a club’s squad are available.

Garcia rejects Man City 
contract extension
Manchester City defender Eric Garcia has turned down the offer of a contract extension at the Etihad Stadium, manager Pep Guardiola revealed. The highly rated 19-year-old centre-back has been linked with a return to his boyhood club Barcelona.
The Spaniard, who joined City from Barcelona in 2017, has made 19 first-team appearances this season. “He told us he doesn’t want to extend his contract with Manchester City,” Guardiola said. “He has one more year then after that he doesn’t want to extend. We want it but he doesn’t want to extend the contract.
I imagine he wants to play in another place.”
The emergence of Garcia, particularly since the season resumed after the coronavirus stoppage, had been a bonus for Guardiola in a problem position. The club did not replace former captain Vincent Kompany when he left last year and Aymeric Laporte missed five months of the campaign through injury.
With Guardiola appearing to lack confidence in a John Stones-Nicolas Otamendi pairing, midfielder Fernandinho was deployed as a makeshift centre-back for most of the campaign. 
The club this week signed centre-back Nathan Ake from Bournemouth for £40mn ($53mn) but will now have to decide whether it makes sense to sell Garcia in the current transfer window or risk losing him on a free transfer next year.

Former Spurs captain King joins coaching staff
Tottenham have appointed former captain Ledley King to the position of first-team assistant in manager Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff. King, 39, spent his entire 13-year playing career with Tottenham and has been a club ambassador since retiring in 2012.
Former centre-half King made 323 appearances for Spurs after making his debut in 1999 and lifted the League Cup as skipper in 2008.

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