Manchester United have not given up on their hopes of signing Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele in the January transfer window.
Popular football journalist and transfer expert, Fabrizio Romano, on Here We Go podcast (h/t The Daily Mail) has claimed the 23-year-old is still a target for the Red Devils.
United, after failing to land Jadon Sancho, made an attempt to sign Dembele on loan during the summer, but the deal didn’t materialise as he stayed on to prove himself under new boss Ronald Koeman.
According to Catalan newspaper Sport, several European clubs are still interested in signing Dembele as they view him as a player who has not yet fully realised his potential and has his best years ahead of him.
Barcelona paid a ridiculous sum of £133.5m to sign Dembele from Borussia Dortmund in 2017. He has had a tough start to his career at Nou Camp, with a string of hamstring and thigh injuries stunting his development.
He is expected to play a prominent role this term following the long-term injury of youngster Ansu Fati. Dembele has started the last three league games and has three goals in all competitions.
The Catalan giants, therefore, would be reluctant to sell him unless they’ve other options lined up. At the same time, Barcelona need an injection of cash to give Koeman the chance to bring his choice of players at the club.
Put simply, Barcelona could be willing to cash in on him and are looking for a fee between £60-70m.
United’s interest and difficulty
The Red Devils still retain an interest in him but they are not willing to meet the player’s asking price. Instead, they want to sign him on loan.
Given the current situation (both injury-wise and financial) Barcelona are in, there’s no way they can send him out on loan.
While the likes of Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes are already crossing double figures in terms of goals in all competitions (14 and 13 respectively), others haven’t really stepped up. In fact, the trio of Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani have only managed five goals between them.
Dembele is a fantastic player, but his poor injury record makes his potential signing a big gamble. However, a player of his ability would give them a huge lift in January similar to what Fernandes did last season.
Having said that, it would be really hard for the Red Devils to lure Dembele – who has a contract at the club till 2022 – on a short-term deal.