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FIFA U-17 World Cup: England hopeful of Jadon Sancho’s availability

Sancho, 17, joined Borussia Dortmund from Man City on the final day of the summer transfer window.

IANS | Kolkata |

The England U-17 football World Cup team is hopeful of getting the services of star attacking midfielder Jadon Sancho for the group stages of the tournament after reports of the player’s club German giants Borussia Dortmund not letting him go surfaced.

The FIFA U-17 World Cup begins on Friday with England playing their first game against Chile on Sunday here at the revamped Salt Lake Stadium in a Group F tie.

According to sources close to the England team, Sancho will not be arriving with the squad later in the day from Mumbai where they had been training, but the management is “expecting him to join them in Kolkata.”

Sancho, 17, joined Dortmund from Manchester City on the final day of the summer transfer window.

But his registration came through only recently making him eligible to play in the German Bundesliga.

Sancho was pivotal in Dortmund’s Youth League win over Real Madrid last week. He was also named in the England 21-member squad for India 2017 sojourn.

England coach Steve Cooper had said after their 3-2 friendly win over New Zealand in Mumbai that they were working closely with Dortmund for the services of Sancho.

But from reports in the English media, Sancho could only be released for the group stages as there will be an international break during that period.

“We are in talks with the English FA,” Dortmund Sporting director Michael Zorc was quoted as saying by ESPNFC.

“Maybe we will let him go in the coming weeks over the international break — that would be for the World Cup group phase.”

London-born Sancho was part of Dortmund’s first-team squad for the first time at the weekend, but did not feature in the 2-1 victory over Augsburg.

Sancho has netted 13 goals in 16 games so far for the Young Lions.

Besides Chile, Asian champions Iraq and CONCACAF champions Mexico are the other two teams in a tough Group F.