Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele may still come to Manchester United as contract talks with the Blaugrana continue to stall.
Dembele was reportedly on the verge of signing for United in the summer, but the deal was not completed. The Frenchman was understood to be reluctant to leave Barcelona although United’s persistence and a plea from Paul Pogba led reporters to believe that he had been persuaded to make the move.
But negotiations were also complicated by the fact that Barcelona wanted to sell the 23-year-old whereas United, with concerns over his injury record, preferred a loan deal. And so in the end, Dembele stayed in Spain.
Since then, the Frenchman has, by and large, proved his fitness – although he did miss five games due to a hamstring injury in December – and has become a regular member of Ronald Koeman’s starting XI, with 19 games, six goals and three assists under his belt.
That starting berth, however, may only last until Ansu Fati returns from injury and with Dembele refusing to sign the contract offer on the table from the Blaugrana, the club has said he must either sign or be sold this summer.
‘The player and his environment have not wanted to hear [about the new contract on offer] so the new president must make a decision,’ Catalan outlet Sport claims.
‘He ends his contract in 2022 and Barça will try to prevent him from going free, so he is obliged to renew or they will sell him for a significant price this summer.’
‘Dembélé and his entourage know perfectly well that time plays in his favour. The talks are absolutely paralyzed despite the fact that there are continuous contacts and the footballer and his agent are waiting for the arrival of the new president to make a decision about his future.
‘Dembélé has always made it clear that he feels very comfortable at Barça … But the economic issue will count for a lot and Barça is not willing to undertake a great expense.
‘Manchester United, Chelsea, Juventus and Bayern are perfectly informed of his movements and could try to sign him in the coming months … or wait for the footballer to end his contract in 2022 to give him a millionaire bonus as a free agent.
‘If his performance continues to improve, Barça will try to retain him. And the reality is that the player would be willing to do his part, but his situation has become extremely complicated and, today, his future as a Blaugrana cannot be guaranteed.
‘Without a doubt, he will be one of the great “hot potatoes” that the new Barça Board of Directors will have to face.’
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