Manchester United should be pursuing summer Ousmane Dembele move

With Manchester United facing a potential exodus of attacking players, signing Ousmane Dembele on a free transfer could be a real coup.

There is every chance that the likes of Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata could have all left the club by the time next summer’s pre-season has started.

United’s attacking options could be significantly reduced if all five players leave within a short space of time.

The newly appointed permanent manager will have youngsters Amad, Facundo Pellestri and Anthony Elanga to call upon, as well as Hannibal Mejbri and Shola Shoretire, but loan moves are probably more likely to be sanctioned for the quintet.

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That’ll leave the Red Devils with Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes as our attacking options.

If no replacement striker is signed for Cavani then Greenwood is likely to see a lot more of his game time come down the middle alongside Ronaldo, who turns 37 next month.

Greenwood, Rashford and Sancho will occupy the wide areas, but the addition of Dembele would not only bring extra competition for places, but also an injection of quality.

Ousmane Dembele in full flow a frightening prospect

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Manchester United alongside other foreign clubs are able to enter negotiations with Dembele’s representatives regarding a potential free summer transfer, as he has entered the last six months of Barcelona’s contract.

The 24-year-old’s current contract expires in June and as of yet the Catalans haven’t managed to make a breakthrough in discussions with Dembele’s camp regarding a new deal.

Barcelona are potentially going to lose the forward for nothing having signed him from Borussia Dortmund for a fee that could rise to £135.5m (BBC Sport).

When he is fit and available, Dembele is undeniably one of Europe’s most formidable wingers, but his time at the Nou Camp has been plagued with injuries.

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Since joining the La Liga giants in 2017, the 2018 World Cup winner has missed 100 games due to injuries.

However, aside from missing a La Liga game due to testing positive for Covid-19, Dembele has recently managed to steer clear from further setbacks after recovering from knee and hamstring injuries.

He has featured in nine of Barcelona’s last 10 matches and is starting to complete the full 90 minutes with greater regularity.

He has a goal and two assists from his last five matches and is showing signs of his best form, following a man of the match performance against Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Supercopa semi-final.

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According to SofaScore, the French international was given an eye-catching 9.5 rating, which was head and shoulders above everybody else on the pitch.

Dembele, who played the full 120 minutes which saw Real Madrid win 3-2 in extra-time, had 103 touches and completed all six of his attempted dribbles.

He made five key passes, one of which was a big chance, following a cross into Luuk de Jong, but the Dutchman’s header was straight at Thibaut Courtois.

What was equally impressive about Dembele’s creative performance was his work rate without the ball, the 24-year-old won 15 of his 16 contested ground duels and also made six tackles.

United would be foolish to pass up Dembele opportunity

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The Mirror claims that Dembele has ‘long been on the radar’ of Manchester United and the club’s interested has been ‘revived’ this year.

A wide forward who is capable of playing on either flank due to his two-footed ability, like Greenwood, Dembele has the technical qualities, speed and end product to torment defences and give United’s talented forward line another devastating option.

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand praised Ousmane Dembele’s performance against Barcelona on Wednesday.

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Speaking on BT Sport whilst covering the game, United’s former centre-back said: “We all know the talent that’s no doubt.

“The talent we saw at France then Dortmund, he’s never been able to replicate that form here on a consistent basis. He needs games, he needs a run of games to sustain that.

“But Xavi [Barcelona boss] is showing faith. That’s the important part, giving him confidence. When he’s confident, as we saw today, he’s almost unplayable at times. The way he can dribble – go both ways – he’s exciting to watch.

“He’s got that bit of flair that not many wingers in the world have got on a consistent basis. But the keyword right there is consistent. he has to bring that into his game.”

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Although Xavi maybe showing faith in Barcelona’s number seven, it’s looking increasingly likely that Dembele’s time at Barcelona could be drawing to a close.

Yes Ousmane Dembele is likely to want big wages and a huge signing on fee, but for a free transfer Manchester United would be foolish not to bring the Frenchman to Old Trafford.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.