Manchester United fans were left wondering what might have been as transfer targets Jude Bellingham and Jadon Sancho starred in Borussia Dortmund’s thumping cup win over Duisburg.
The Red Devils lost out on the former Birmingham teenager in July as he agreed a £20.7m deal at the Westfalenstadion – despite getting a tour of Carrington from Sir Alex Ferguson.
While the German side’s latest statements on Sancho – with whom United have ‘agreed’ personal terms and agents fees – suggest he is not going anywhere soon.
And Dortmund piled on more misery for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side as their English pair stunned in the side’s DFB-Pokal opener.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already brought in Donny van de Beek but Jadon Sancho remains Manchester United's number one target.
However, they have so far failed to agree a deal with Borussia Dortmund and are considering Gareth Bale as an alternative.
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Taking on third-division side MSV Duisburg, the Champions League side were gifted a penalty after 14 minutes.
And Sancho, making his 100th appearance since joining the club from Manchester City ’s academy in 2017, slotted his spot-kick into the top-left corner with ease.
Bellingham then marked his debut by finishing off a slick move from Dortmund’s attacking players.
His English team-mate fed the ball to Givanni Reyna, looking for Erling Haaland in the middle of the penalty box with his dragged cross.
When it misses the Norwegian, Thorgan Hazard latches on and flicks the ball behind him – into the path of the 17-year-old, whose shot bounces into the net.
Dortmund’s English stars were soon trending on Twitter, where the United faithful were left furious.
“This is so much pain,” one supporter said.
Another commented: “Oh look who scored some goals tonight. Oh to have a competent football board – sorry, what was I thinking, United don’t have one. Idiots!
While a third admitted it was too much, with: “I’m crying myself to sleep.”
And a fourth simply added: “Failed.”
Dortmund managed to grab another goal before half time as Hazard, thumping his 20-yard free kick into the top-left corner as Duisburg’s Dominic Volkmer received a straight red.
The German side continued to dominate – and only needed five minutes before Reyna found the back of the net from a third set-piece, his shot deflecting off Axel Wiesel.
And the rout was finished by Marco Reus eight minutes later, Sancho looping a ball in from the left for the German to slot under goalkeeper Leo Weinkauf.
The win puts Dortmund into the second round of the DFB-Pokal as their Bundesliga campaign gets started against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.
It comes as sporting director Sebastian Kehlsent a message to United over Sancho, telling ARD: “Jadon Sancho will play this season at Borussia Dortmund.
“Otherwise, we are looking at the market, but are well positioned.”
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