According to Mundo Deportivo (via Sport Witness), Manchester United are eyeing up a move to bring in Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele to Old Trafford in the January transfer window.
The French winger has had a torrid time since his move from Borussia Dortmund. Injuries and lack of consistency have seen him miss a huge chunk of game time at Camp Nou. Adding to the concerns of the Spanish giants, the 24-year-old’s contract is up next summer.
Barcelona are finding it hard to keep hold of their players due to their financial woes. They have already lost Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann this summer, and the way things are shaping up at the club, Ousmane Dembele could be making his exit from Camp Nou amid interest from various European clubs.
The report stated that the French forward’s agent is secretly offering the player to various Premier League clubs and United seem to have exhibited the most interest in signing him. Although the Catalan giants have made efforts to extend the player’s contract, no positive outcome has come out of it yet and Barca believe that Moussa Sissoko, Dembele’s agent, is causing the delay. They would sell the player if he fails to agree a deal before this year ends.
However, Barca’s stance has changed since Xavi took over the managerial reins at Camp Nou. The new boss considers him as a key member of his team and has made Dembele signing a new contract his top priority. The Spanish legend holds the player in high regard and believes in him to become the best player in the world in his position.
𝑀𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑟 X6VI pic.twitter.com/r7Z4Y4fB0L
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 6, 2021
Xavi told reporters:
“For me, Dembele, he can be the best player in the world in his position.”
“But you have to work with him and demand it. It depends on him, on his mentality, that he is free from injury, that he has high performance levels.”
“His renewal is a priority for me.”
Therefore, the club have offered him a new contract based on the number of matches played by him. The contract will pay him generously if he plays, but his pay will be reduced when out of action. This means that he will earn more if he plays more and with additional performance-based bonuses, Dembele could be earning more than he currently does. However, there has been no response from the player’s camp yet.
The Red Devils have splashed a lot of cash this summer, ensuring that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has all he needs to take the team across the finish line. They bought Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, but Cristiano Ronaldo making his way back to United was certainly the best signing. Ideally, United have plenty of wingers in their squad which begs the question, do they need Dembele?
First things first, Greenwood and Sancho are the preferred right wingers for Ole, so there’s no chance Dembele would be seen as the first-choice. United have Rashford and Martial on the left and Jesse Lingard can also slot in on either of the flanks. So why would United add more to an area where they already have great depth.
Another concern is the player’s fitness. There is high chance that his time on the sidelines will only increase considering how physical the Premier League is compared to the La Liga. On numerous occasions, Barcelona have been left short-handed due to his absence, and a similar story could unfold if he is to make his way to United.
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Instead of getting an attacker, the Red Devils should look for a ball-playing DM, one that can play alongside Paul Pogba and act as the midfield pivot. Fred and Scott McTominay are defensive-minded players, but neither of them seem to have the neccessary ball-playing abilities.
Manchester United were linked with a few good midfielders this summer, but nothing materialised. At present, if there is a position on the field where United need a quality player, it has to be the defensive midfield spot. Hopefully, the chiefs at United make the right call on not bringing in Dembele.
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