Manchester United ‘very close’ to closing deal for Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele

The latest word stemming from the Spanish media this evening suggests that Ousmane Dembele is inching towards a move to Manchester United.

Barca struggles

French wide-man Dembele made the move to the Camp Nou in the summer of 2017.

The Blaugrana splashed out a hefty €105 million (plus a potential 40 million in bonuses) to secure Dembele’s signature from Borussia Dortmund, in the wake of Neymar’s record-breaking move to PSG.

However, the attacker has since struggled to replicate the output of his predecessor, with a combination of injury problems, competition for places and questions over his attitude having seen Dembele, to this point, fail to repay Barca’s faith.

In the former Rennes man’s defence, the aforementioned fitness issues endured during his time in Catalunya have proven nothing short of staggering.

After he picked up the latest in a series of hamstring injuries in February, Barcelona confirmed that their struggling winger had been ruled out for 6 months.

Ousmane Dembele

BARCELONA, SPAIN – JANUARY 20: Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona (11) celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal with Luis Suarez (9) and team mates during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and CD Leganes at Camp Nou on January 20, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

This, as subsequently calculated by the reliable Transfermarkt, means that Dembele is thought to have missed somewhere in the region of 80 fixtures since completing his move to Barcelona 3 years ago.

Old Trafford bound?

The 23-year-old’s widely-publicised struggles during his time in Spain have therefore inevitably resulted in speculation that the Blaugrana could simply attempt to cut their losses, by moving Dembele on to the highest bidder.

In the past, the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and PSG have all been tipped as potential landing spots.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is also known to be a long-term admirer of Dembele’s talents.

As outlined above, however, it is yet another of the Premier League’s giants who have today seen themselves freshly linked with the French international.

The outfit in question? Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co. are known to be on the lookout for reinforcements out wide this summer, but have thus far seen their attempts to thrash out a deal for first-choice target Jadon Sancho fail to bear fruit.

BAD RAGAZ, SWITZERLAND – AUGUST 10: Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund during a training session as part of the training camp on August 10, 2020 in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland. (Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund/Getty Images)

The Red Devils have, as a result, been forced to look elsewhere, with word doing the rounds in the Spanish media on Tuesday evening insisting that they have not only identified Dembele as a target, but are now closing on his signature.

As first reported by Diario AS, the explosive attacker is ‘very close’ to finalising a move to Old Trafford.

This comes with Barcelona having dropped their asking price to a figure somewhere in the region of €50 – 60 million.

The Blaugrana are ready to immediately reinvest the funds raised through Dembele’s sale on a swoop for Lyon’s Memphis Depay, with widespread excitement also surrounding the potential impact of Trincao at the Camp Nou over the season ahead.

The reliable Francesc Aguilar of Mundo Deportivo has since backed claims of Dembele’s imminent Manchester switch, adding that, following a change of heart amid the club’s financial struggles, Ronald Koeman has sanctioned the transfer:

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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