Ousmane Dembele to Manchester United and Arsenal is a report which has surfaced plenty of times in recent months.
But this seems different.
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A report from Sport in Spain states that Dembele does not intend to extend his current contract, which runs out in the summer of 2022, and therefore only has 18 months left on it.
It goes on to state that Barcelona will push to sell the French winger in January (to try and recoup some cash) and both Man United and Arsenal are interested in the former Borussia Dortmund man who joined Barca for $118 million in the summer of 2017.
Ousmane Dembele, 23, was chased by Manchester United in the summer but it is believed he turned down the move late in the window. That led to Memphis Depay being unable to replace him at the Catalan club and Ronald Koeman has used Dembele early in the season (four goals and one assist in 326 minutes isn’t bad) but that is largely down to the injury to Ansu Fati, young talents Pedri and Trincao still developing and a loss of form for Antoine Griezmann.
Given Barcelona’s dire financial situation, plus the new salary cap rules put in place by La Liga, they’ll need to get someone like Dembele off the wage bill, just like they did with Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez this summer. They would love to get a sizeable transfer for Dembele too, and that is where Arsenal and Man United could make their move.
United clearly want a winger and even thought they pushed to sign Jadon Sancho over the last 12 months, they clearly believe that Dortmund’s valuation is too high for the England winger. With Mason Greenwood out of form, plus Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Daniel James the back-up options, the Red Devils need a winger and Dembele would be a good fit for the way they love to play on the counter.
Arsenal may not be the best move for Dembele considering the huge number of attacking players they already have at the club and the fact that Mikel Arteta is extremely keen on his players all digging deep when it comes to defensive duties. That is by no means Dembele’s strength but if Alexandre Lacazette moves on, he could start out on the left and Aubameyang could move back to a central position.
Dembele will have options if and when he leaves Barcelona, and it seems increasingly likely that the Spanish giants will try to get whatever transfer fee they can for him in January.