Erik ten Hag is standing by his comments about Jadon Sancho’s absence from the Manchester United squad, sources told ESPN, despite the forward’s furious response to his manager’s claims.

Sancho was axed from the squad for the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday with Ten Hag saying afterwards that “on his performance in training we didn’t select him.”

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But within an hour, Sancho hit back by insisting Ten Hag’s remarks were “completely untrue.”

In a statement posted on X, Sancho added: “Please don’t believe everything you read! I have conducted myself in training very well this week.

“I believe there are other reasons for this matter that I won’t get into, I’ve been a scapegoat for a long time which isn’t fair!”

Ten Hag was made aware of Sancho’s response on the journey back to Manchester from London on Sunday evening but decided against issuing a clarification to his postmatch comments.

According to sources, he believes he was clear on his reasons for dropping Sancho and is standing by the view that he did not deserve a place in the squad because of his performances in training.

The 23-year-old, who moved to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund in a £73 million ($92m) deal in 2021, has made three substitute appearances so far this season.

Sancho has risked disciplinary action over his social media posts.

Ten Hag has acted quickly to stamp out perceived indiscipline at United in the past.

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When Cristiano Ronaldo said in an interview in November 2022 that he “didn’t respect” Ten Hag, the Portugal forward had his contract cancelled by mutual consent before sealing a move to Al Nassr.

In December, Marcus Rashford was dropped to the bench for a game at Wolves after arriving late for a team meeting.

Sources have told ESPN that United are hoping use extended transfer windows in Turkey and Saudi Arabia to offload Eric Bailly and Donny van de Beek.

The European window closed on Friday with the pair — both out of favour — still at Old Trafford.

Bailly was not part of the squad for the summer tour of the United States and has been training with the reserves.