• Lucien Favre says Jadon Sancho's performance affected by headlines linking him to Man Utd
  • Sancho was Manchester United's top target at the recently ended summer transfer market
  • He has scored just once this season

Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre has blamed Jadon Sancho's constant links with Manchester United for the player's slow start to the 2020-21 season.

Sancho, who netted 20 goals in 44 competitive appearances for Dortmund in the last campaign, has struck only one goal and provided three assists in six matches this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer-managed Manchester United strongly tried to sign Sancho at the recently ended summer transfer window, but the Red Devils failed to do so, mainly because of the Bundesliga side's asking price of $140 million.

Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, ahead of Dortmund's Champions League clash with Zenit St. Petersburg, Favre explained that it was understandable that one of his star players was distracted by all the headlines linking him to Man Utd.

"Every player has slow periods. There was a lot of talk about Jadon in the summer, something like that can also have an influence. But no player is consistently in top form for a year, that's impossible. You have to accept that," Favre was quoted by Goal as saying at the press conference.

It was earlier reported that after chasing Sancho through the summer window, Man Utd eventually withdrew from the transfer because the deal could have cost the Old Trafford side at least $292 million, which included Sancho's transfer fee of $141 million at Dortmund, the player's wage demand and the fee asked by his agent, Emeka Obasi.

Giovanni Reyna, Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt during the Borussia Dortmund training.
Jadon Sancho (center) made his senior debut with Dortmund in 2017. Marco Verch on Flickr

Dortmund had a poor start to their 2020-21 Champions League campaign with a 2-1 away loss to Lazio last week. Dortmund will aim to secure three points Wednesday at home against Russian side Zenit, which also lost its first group-stage game 2-1 at home to Club Brugge.

"In my opinion, Zenit lost unnecessarily against Brugge. They missed a few great chances which show how dangerous a team they are," Favre added in the press conference.