Short of tattooing it on the player’s forehead, Borussia Dortmund couldn’t make it any clearer that Jadon Sancho is staying with them next season.

Several club officials have spoken about it this week, in interviews from their Bad Ragaz training camp, and every time the message has been the same: The deadline was missed for a Sancho transfer, and he therefore won’t be joining Manchester United or anyone else this summer.

That’s a stance which hasn’t been accepted by many fans of the Premier League club, and by media associated with them. The Sancho rumour has become an industry in itself, so it won’t be let go of so easily.

However, if Borussia Dortmund were to sell now they’d look completely ridiculous.

Hans-Joachim Watzke has been speaking to the German media, and in quotes carried by Abendzeitung-Muenchen and others, he has again made his club’s stance clear.

When asked about ‘speculation from England’ that it’s all just a Dortmund negotiating tactic, to try and push Sancho’s price up, the BVB CEO said: “I read that too. This is what experts like Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves claim. They were great footballers, and they are football experts. But I don’t know if they are transfer experts too. That Sancho stays with BVB is set in stone.”

On social media, this week’s hardline comments from the Bundesliga club have been met with mockery, given they said similar about Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, only to later sell the players.

Those players forced their exits, and Watzke was asked if he believes Sancho could do similar: “I don’t see this danger at all. At the test match in Altach – as you know – Jadon himself explained how ‘happy he is in this special bunch’. We have a good exchange with his advisors. We acknowledge that Jadon responds very well. And he recognises that we have a good team that gives him a lot of fun playing football. He shows this joy every day now. In training. In the game.”

Time will tell whether Watzke and Co. are being honest, or if this is just a game to pressure Manchester United. If it’s the latter, and Sancho does leave this summer, then Borussia Dortmund’s credibility will take a huge blow, to the benefit of their bank account.