Manchester United lead Liverpool, Chelsea in Sancho battle - sources

Manchester United are leading the chase for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, but Borussia Dortmund are still anticipating competition from Premier League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea, sources have told ESPN.

- Schoenfeld: The rise of Sancho

The German side have suggested privately they could lose Sancho this summer but will demand a fee of around €130 million for the 20-year-old, who has scored 14 Bundesliga goals this season.

United are at the head of the queue after manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made the England international one of his primary targets as he looks to revamp his forward line.

Sources have told ESPN that United have become notorious for dragging their feet in negotiations and risk losing out to a rival unless they, according to one source, "get their act together quickly."

Dortmund are hopeful Liverpool and Chelsea will challenge United, as that would create an auction for Sancho's signature, but there are complications with both clubs. Liverpool are reluctant to match Dortmund's asking price and already have a settled front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. Chelsea have an advantage in that Sancho grew up in London as a fan of the club, but they have already committed €44m to sign Hakim Ziyech from Ajax.

United can boost their chances of landing Sancho by securing Champions League football but can also put together a lucrative financial package and offer the youngster guaranteed first-team football in Solskjaer's new-look team.

Manchester City, Sancho's former club, have the right to match any bid accepted by Dortmund, according to a clause in the deal that saw him leave the Etihad Stadium in 2017. But City did not include a United stipulation in the deal as they did when Brahim Diaz moved to Real Madrid in 2019.

City are entitled to 15% of the fee if Brahim leaves Real Madrid but would earn 40% if he were to sign for another "Manchester-based club."

No such clause exists in Sancho's Dortmund contract.

Meanwhile, academy striker Dillon Hoogewerf has signed his first professional contract at Old Trafford. The 19-year-old Dutchman signed from Ajax in 2019.

He said: "Really happy to sign my first professional contract. Can't wait to get back to the training ground and continue the hard work."