Ousmane Dembele is open to the idea of joining Manchester United from Barcelona this summer and is having doubts about staying in Spain, according to reports.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano last night confirmed a report coming from Catalan specialist journalist Gerard Romero, via @Utdreport, which claimed that ‘Ousmane Dembélé is beginning to have doubts about staying at Barcelona,’ and that ‘#mufc continue to try and sign him on loan plus the option to buy. Barcelona continue to ask for a permanent deal.’
Dembele is seen by United as an alternative to Jadon Sancho if, as seems increasingly likely, they do not manage to prise the Englishman away from Borussia Dortmund in this window.
Whether Dembele’s openness to leaving the Camp Nou extends to a permanent exit or is merely for a loan deal is unclear. However, as Romero’s report claims, the Red Devils are keen on the idea of a loan with the option to buy, probably due to doubts about Dembele’s fitness after a string of serious injuries, but also potentially because they intend to try for Sancho again next summer.
Dembele’s injury record, from transfermarkt.com
Barcelona, on the other hand, want to sell the player to raise funds to buy Memphis Depay from Lyon.
The Catalans are reportedly willing to let the Frenchman leave for less than half of the €138 million they paid for him in 2017.
With the loan or sell issue creating an impasse, a creative solution may need to be found. For example, a sale with a low fixed fee and high variable portion based on matches played (for example, a fixed fee of around €25-€30 million plus up to €30-€40m based on appearances) could provide Barça with enough income to land their target while providing United with sufficient insurance in regard to the issue of Dembele’s fitness.
This summer’s transfer window has been one of the strangest in living memory. So cast your mind back to less stressful days and test your knowledge of past United arrivals and departures in our quiz below.