Report: Man Utd ‘negotiated’ with club over 24 y/o but ‘refused to pay’ asking price

Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona by Кирилл Венедиктов, CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

Manchester United have Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Cristiano Ronaldo, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Amad Diallo at their disposal, but El Nacional say they’ve held talks with Barcelona over another forward – Ousmane Dembele.

Barca have ‘negotiated’ with the Red Devils over a potential deal for the 24-year-old, but United ‘refused to pay’ his asking price so it doesn’t look like he’ll be on his way to Old Trafford any time soon. El Nacional say a loan move with an option to buy does interest United, however.

Dembele joined the Catalans giants from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 and has gone on to make 118 appearances in all competitions, scoring 30 goals with 21 assists. The French international has yet to make an appearance this season as he’s out with a hamstring injury and isn’t expected back until November, so would United really have signed him?

Barcelona are in a shedload of debt after overspending for years without oversight. Their three most expensive signings came in the last four years – Dembele (£135.5m from Dortmund), Philippe Coutinho (£121m from Liverpool), Antoine Griezmann (£108m from Atletico Madrid) – so they’re now having to cash in on deadwood.

The Catalans would like to make back as much money as possible for Dembele, but United aren’t willing to match their demands. They would surely have to offload one or two existing players to make room for the Frenchman too, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is overstocked in the position.

Whether the situation changes in January remains to be seen.

Summary

Dembele is a good player who’s averaging one goal every two games for Barcelona, but it would be a surprise if United signed him permanently this season.

It would even be surprising if they loaned him for the campaign as it’s one area they don’t need upgrading.

The 24-year-old won’t come cheap and isn’t even fit, so why would he be a transfer target?