Manchester City are fighting to keep Jadon Sancho in the face of interest from several major clubs, leaving the wonderkid's future up in the air.
Sancho, 17, is determined to leave City this summer as he feels his path to the first team is blocked, and that he would be better served at some of the Blues' direct rivals.
It was revealed this week that he has stopped turning up to training in an effort to force a move away from City, though club sources stress that they merely see that as a tactic to earn a bigger contract than the £30,000-per-week deal that is currently on offer.
However, Goal can reveal that Sancho said his goodbyes to his team-mates in July, shortly before several youngsters jetted off for City's pre-season tour of America.
At that point, Sancho's colleagues were under the impression he would join Borussia Dortmund.
The youngster visited Dortmund's facilities earlier this summer, but Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal are now all rumoured to be competing for his signature.
Sancho was initially expected to join youngsters Aro Muric, Daniel Grimshaw, Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz with the City first-team in the States, but was left behind as his contract situation dragged on.
Sources close to the former Watford player have told Goal that he has rarely spent time with his young team-mates in Manchester and has instead regularly travelled to London to be with friends and family.
That would seemingly put Spurs and Arsenal in the driving seat, and indeed it is understood Spurs tried to include Sancho in the deal that took Kyle Walker to the Etihad Stadium.
Any Premier League club would have to agree a compensation package for Sancho directly with City, as fees for youngsters on scholarship contracts cannot be decided by tribunal.
However, City could lose the England youth international for just £190,000 should he move to a foreign club.
The Blues remain determined to keep Sancho and are still hopeful that they can tie him down to a professional contract, though sources close to the player still expect an exit.