Jadon Sancho banished from Manchester United after refusing Erik ten Hag’s demand for apology


Jadon Sancho of Manchester United celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on March 06, 2022 in Manchester, England.
Jadon Sancho launched an extraordinary attack on his manager after United’s loss to Arsenal – Getty Images/Laurence Griffiths

Jadon Sancho has been banished from Manchester United’s first team squad after refusing to bow to Erik ten Hag’s demand for a public apology.

As their bitter public fall-out escalates, Sancho is also understood to feel that he has been a victim of double standards at the club.

Sancho is unlikely to be involved in United’s Premier League game against Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday after he was axed by Ten Hag and ordered to train away from the rest of the first team pending the outcome of his disciplinary issue with the manager.

Ten Hag has adopted the hardline stance after Sancho refused to apologise publicly for a social media post in which he effectively accused his manager of lying over the reasons for his absence in the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal on September 3.

Telegraph Sport has learned that Sancho also believes there have been notable inconsistencies in the way Ten Hag has applied certain rules in relation to him compared to team-mates.

That is understood to be one of the reasons why Sancho claimed he has been made “a scapegoat for a long time which isn’t fair” in his outburst on social media at Ten Hag.

Sancho had also said on X, the microblogging site formerly known as Twitter, that it was “completely untrue” that he had been omitted from the squad against Arsenal because of his performances in training as Ten Hag had claimed.

John Murtough, the United football director, and the club’s chief executive Richard Arnold have been at the centre of efforts to resolve the dispute.

Sancho finally removed his controversial social media post on Tuesday but there is still no resolution in his row with the manager as the player refuses to back down.

There is also understood to be unhappiness on Sancho’s part that Ten Hag went public in the first place with his grievances and it has also been reported the Dutchman did not have permission to make public reference to the player’s mental health struggles last season.

In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, United said: “Jadon Sancho will remain on a personal training programme away from the first team group pending resolution of a squad discipline issue.”

Sancho is the second United forward in the space of five days who is now currently unavailable to Ten Hag after it was announced in a statement on Sunday that Antony will stay away from the club while he fights allegations against him by three women.

The England international, 23, returned to United’s Carrington training base on Monday and held talks with Ten Hag in person for the first time since their public spat flared.

The remarks both stunned and infuriated Ten Hag and have left Sancho facing an uncertain future at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag is understood to feel badly let down by Sancho given the lengths to which he feels he went last season to try to help the player to kick-start his flagging career.

The issue is being seen as the biggest challenge to Ten Hag’s authority since his problems with Cristiano Ronaldo last season, when the Portugal forward refused to come on as a substitute in a match against Spurs in October last year and subsequently gave an explosive interview in which claimed he had no respect for the Dutchman.

Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq were interested in signing Sancho before the close of the Saudi transfer window last Thursday but United ruled out a loan.

Like Antony, Sancho was included in the 25-man Premier League squad that United submitted on Wednesday but it remains to be seen what the disciplinary investigation yields.

The likely absence of Sancho in addition to Antony against Brighton comes at a time when United are already without the injured Mason Mount, Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia and have doubts over the fitness of Lisandro Martinez.

There is hope new loan signing Sofyan Amrabat will be involved and able to make his debut after sitting out Morocco’s international games as a precaution. Brighton are the last team to beat United at Old Trafford in domestic competition, 13 months ago.

Antony, 23, has not been suspended by United and remains on full pay but he will not train or be considered for selection until further notice after agreeing with the club that it is in the best interest of both parties that his presence does not become a “distraction” and he does not create “unnecessary controversy”.

The Brazil winger has been accused of attacking a former girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin on a number of occasions.

He has also been accused of physical violence towards two more women, Ingrid Lana and Rayssa de Freitas. Antony strenuously denies all the allegations and has vowed to prove his innocence.

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