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Jadon Sancho at odds with German press over his £268 gold steak - but a return to England is way off

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EXCLUSIVE: A £268 gold steak served by Salt Bae has made Jordan Sancho a villain for the German media... But despite the faux outrage, a Premier League move looks distant as Dortmund prepare to unleash his new partnership with Erling HaalandJadon Sancho is at odds with the German press after he flaunted his wealthHis recent trip to Dubai ended with him visiting a restaurant owned by 'Salt Bae'The 19-year-old is now being accused if 'ruining his relationship' with the media With the January window in full flow, speculation over Sancho's future intensifiesHowever, Dortmund won't be ready to let go of their English crown jewel just yet

The PR people at Borussia Dortmund are currently to be found banging their heads against their desks in frustration at Jadon Sancho.

A few days ago, the 19-year-old England international committed the cardinal social media sin for a Bundesliga player when he shared a smoothly produced video of a recent trip to Dubai on Instagram.

The quickfire series of clips amounts to a 'What I Did On My Holiday' essay for the TikTok generation. Sancho can be seen jumping off a yacht, feeding giraffes in a zoo and riding a dune buggy. Unfortunately, the video also ends with a shot of him applying salt to a £268 gold-plated steak.

Jadon Sancho has been accused of ruining his reputation with the German press recently

The English star visited celebrity chef Salt Bae's (left) Dubai restaurant while away on holiday

Just a year ago the same steak, which is served by celebrity chef Salt Bae at his Dubai restaurant, was the centre of a media storm in a teacup in Germany when it was ordered by Bayern Munich veteran Franck Ribery. 

Since then, there has been a golden rule for Bundesliga players: flaunt your wealth how you like, just don't eat the ruddy steak.

Sancho, predictably, has been treated to a wave of faux moral outrage in the last few days. Bild accused him of 'ruining his reputation', while Die Welt sniffed that it was 'difficult to stomach for the public'.

All of which is of course no more than hot air. Sancho is entitled to do whatever he wants with his money, and the German press are endearingly uptight about displays of bling. Where once they got hot under the collar about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's cars, now they do so about Sancho's holidays.

Sancho fed giraffes and other exotic animals before riding jet skis during his winter vacation

German news outlet Die Welt said Sancho flaunting his wealth was 'difficult to stomach'

Yet the video also served to highlight a bitter but inevitable truth for Dortmund. 

Sancho is no longer the wide-eyed young learner who idolised Aubameyang a few years ago. He is now an established star, brimming with self-confidence and eyeing a move back to England.

As the January transfer window rumbles on, speculation over Sancho's future has once again gone into overdrive. 

He has been repeatedly linked with moves to Manchester United, Liverpool and former club Manchester City, while Chelsea are said to be preparing a record-breaking £120m bid.

The signing of Erling Braut Haaland has further excited the rumour millers. With the Norwegian's arrival, there is a new wonderkid on the block to challenge Sancho's status, if not his place in the team.

Franck Ribery was at the centre of a media storm over a meal served by celebrity chef Salt Bae

And then there is the discipline question. The Instagram video is just the latest in a string of minor indiscretions from Sancho this season. 

In October, he was left out of the squad for a crucial game against title rivals Borussia Moenchengladbach after returning late from the international break. A month later, he was benched against Barcelona for missing a team meeting.

The doom mongers have already started drawing parallels with Ousmane Dembele, the French youngster whose petulant behaviour alienated his team mates and accelerated a £100m move to Barcelona in 2017.

Yet such comparisons are a little unfair. Dembele had been far less impressive for Dortmund after one year than Sancho has been after three. The Frenchman also went on strike and trashed his apartment before leaving Dortmund. Sancho, by contrast, has turned up late a few times and fed a giraffe.

Erling Braut Haaland arrival (R) has only added fuel to the fire over a potential exit for Sancho

The gold steak video was undoubtedly ill-advised, not least for a player who describes himself on the club website as 'just a normal young guy'. It sits uneasily with Dortmund's increasingly vain attempts to maintain their reputation as a salt-of-the-earth club. 

It is no secret, though, that Dortmund more hard-headed and cynical than their carefully romanticised self-image suggests. With Sancho, it has always been a question of when, rather than if, he will move to one of Europe's richest clubs. And perhaps more importantly, for how much.

His current contract, signed only last summer, keeps him at the club until 2022 and, in keeping with club policy on such matters, contains no release clause. Dortmund intend to make a significant profit on Sancho, and Chelsea's £120m may only be the starting point of a bidding war.

They are also in no rush to sell him. Dortmund are currently one of four or five teams with a realistic chance of winning the Bundesliga title this season. They are counting on a now deadly front three of Sancho, Haaland and Reus to help them do so.

The 19-year-old has been benched twice by Dortmund for discipline issues earlier this season

Many have already started drawing parallels with Ousmane Dembele and his time at the club

With the negative headlines and a brief dip in form, this may be Sancho's rockiest season yet for Dortmund, but he has still notched up nine goals and 10 assists in 15 league games. 

This week, Kicker magazine ranked him as the league's No 1 winger this season, ahead of Bayern Munich star Serge Gnabry.

There is also no reason to believe that Haaland's arrival will hasten his departure. The Norwegian is a centre-forward, and if anyone leaves to make way for him, it will be Paco Alcacer, not Sancho. 

Only an offer of Neymaresque proportions would tempt the club to let go of their English crown jewel. And as for the player himself, Dortmund remain relaxed to the point of complacency. 

After the Barcelona incident, sporting director Michael Zorc batted away suggestions that Sancho's poor discipline may be calculated to provoke a January move.

Despite a brief dip in form, he has still notched up nine goals and 10 assists in 15 league games

'I don't have that impression from the talks I have had with him and his agent,' Zorc told Bild.

That could, and probably will, change in the summer. Already there are rumours that Werder Bremen's Milot Rashica is being lined up as a replacement. By the time next season rolls around, Sancho may well be back in the Premier League.

But until then, the transfer rumours are to be taken in the same way as that infamous gold steak. With a pinch of salt.

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