Jadon Sancho has been defended by Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc following the England international’s discipline issues.
Sancho is believed to be a target for Manchester United and Chelsea in the January transfer window, while Liverpool are also said to be interested in the winger.
A January move has appeared more likely of late after a number of problems appeared to sour the relationship between Sancho and Dortmund.
Sancho, 19, was left out of the squad to play Borussia Monchengladbach in October after returning late from England duty, and was also fined a week’s wages.
He was also benched for Dortmund’s Champions League clash against Barcelona last month after reportedly turning up late for a team meeting – although he came on in the second half and scored.
Also last month, Sancho was hauled off at half-time during a 4-0 defeat to Dortmund’s Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich.
But Zorc insisted there was no problem between Dortmund and the former Manchester City youngster.
“Jadon is still in the process of growing up and perfect professional behaviour, so he needs guidelines and help, and we’ll give him that,” Zorc told German publication Kicker.
“You have no choice – you have to maintain team discipline. You have to act as a club at some point.”
Zorc says the tough love is working on Sancho – as evidenceed by his goal against Barcelona, and his performance when Dortmund were reduced to 10 man and had to hold on for a 2-1 win against Hertha Berlin.
“Jadon worked brutally backwards when Mats Hummels was sent off against Berlin,” Zorc said.
Sancho scored 12 goals and provided 17 assists in his spectacular breakthrough season last term, and already has seven goals and eight assists this campaign.
Chelsea are reportedly weighing up a £100million bid as they prepare to battle United for the teenager’s services.
Sancho’s former club City have first refusal on the player but will not be taking up their option to match any offers for him.