Barcelona have warned Manchester United that any efforts to sign Ousmane Dembele on loan will be met with an instant rejection.
The World Cup-winning Barcelona winger has emerged as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s favoured option with a deal for Jadon Sancho still looking doubtful.
The Red Devils have chased Sancho long and hard this summer. Those hopes, however, remain in the balance despite United reportedly submitting a new and improved bid.
As per reports this week, United have asked to sign Dembele on an initial loan deal. Under the terms of their proposal, United would sign the World Cup winner with an option to buy.
However, despite the player seemingly not in Ronald Koeman’s plans, Barcelona are in no hurry to accept a loan deal.
As per Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have told United chiefs that it is a permanent transfer or nothing for the winger.
To further complicate the issue, Barcelona sporting director Ramon Planes is adamant that United are not in the hunt for Dembele.
“No negotiations with Man United, [we] completely deny that. He’s a player we count on.”
However, Mundo Deportivo, are adamant Barca would cash in were United to make a £50m+ approach.
Koeman addressed the speculation over the Frenchman’s future earlier this week, saying: “The first thing to say is that it is up to the club and to the player.
“But he is with us and as we’ve seen in recent weeks I am counting on him….he has to wait to play but he is training well, getting fitter.
“I want to say that I am counting on him.”
Asked why Dembele did not play against Villarreal, he added: “Dembele did not start the last game because Ansu Fati has proved to be a very good player, and he will have to wait for his moment.”
Meanwhile, reports claim Paul Pogba has taken it upon himself to try and convince the player to move to Old Trafford.
Mundo Deportivo reports that Pogba has personally called his mate in an attempt to persuade him to make the move. Furthermore, he is said to be ‘fully behind’ United’s efforts to bring him to the north-west.
Darren Fletcher wary of Dembele ‘risk’
Former United star Darren Fletcher reckons it would be quite the risk if United were to sign Dembele.
Despite his obvious talent, the 23-year-old has struggled with injuries since moving to the Nou Camp.
As such, Fletcher has explained why his arrival on loan initially would be a better option.
“I think Ousmane Dembele’s a right winger, a position they are finally identifying.
“It comes with its risks – his injury record is not great over the last few seasons. I think he only made five league appearances last season, but he’s a talented player.
“Barcelona purchased him for £100m or something like that.
“I think a loan deal would suit United, and probably both parties, I think he needs a fresh challenge, coming to a massive club like Manchester United.
“It’s a chance to showcase himself, get opportunities, get fit and potentially look for a transfer down the line, but I wouldn’t say they’ve got to sign him because of his injury record, and he has tendencies to be late a lot of the time judging by reports.
“United should give him the opportunity to showcase himself and be the player everyone thought he was gonna become.”
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