ENGLISH FOOTBALL

Manchester United table ‘blank cheque’ in a bid to lure Ousmane Dembele

United Dembele

Manchester United have gone as far as they can to acquire Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele. According to Catalan outlet Nacional, United are willing to offer Dembele a lucrative contract in order to lure him to Old Trafford. The Red Devils, however, will have to battle it out with a host of clubs interested in the winger. Erik ten Hag is on his way to rebuilding the squad and wants the winger to be a part of his project at United. Barcelona are also fed-up with Dembele unwilling to commit to the club despite Xavi wanting him to stay.

Barcelona have reportedly pulled the plug on contract extension negotiations with Dembele. The Catalans feel Dembele’s agent is dragging the talks too long with no intention of reaching an agreement. As a result, the club will let go of their winger this summer. However, Barca won’t be able to recoup anything from the massive £120 million they paid to Borussia Dortmund for Dembele. The Frenchman’s contract expires by the end of this month and hence would leave as a free agent. 

United ready to offer mammoth wages to Dembele

Nacional further reports that United have initiated contacts with Moussa Sissoko, Dembele’s agent. Sissoko wants a higher salary for his client which Barcelona are reluctant to pay. However, such is United’s desperation that they have put a ‘blank cheque’ on the table to sign Dembele. Ten Hag is pushing for Dembele’s signature since the manager feels he could become a crucial part of his system.

Ten Hag plans to unleash Jadon Sancho and Ousmane Dembele on the wings with Cristiano Ronaldo playing from the middle. While Sancho is a natural left-winger, Dembele’s two-footedness allows him to play on either flank. Moreover, the winger recorded a league-high 13 assists last season despite missing 17 games through injuries. United feels Dembele still has great potential when fit to play regularly. 

However, Dembele and his agent still find United’s stupendous attempt unimpressive. The Frenchman wants Champions League football which United cannot offer. Ten Hag will have to compete in the Europa League in his first season since United finished 5th last season. Another hurdle is Dembele’s wish to return to his homeland. Paris Saint-Germain are attracting the former Rennes player and have assured an increment on his current earnings which stand at £300,000 per week. Furthermore, Chelsea are also closely following Dembele as they are now allowed to conduct business in the transfer market. Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has formerly worked with Dembele at Dortmund and shares a very good relationship with the player.

Nonetheless, this won’t be the first time United are coming for Dembele. The Premier League giants earlier tried to engineer a move for the winger in the winter transfer market. Barcelona were ready to sell as well but wanted £17 million as a fee. United however took the gamble of waiting till the summer as Dembele would then come for free if he doesn’t sign an extension. But it seems their gamble has backfired as Dembele is unwilling to join a club that won’t play in the Champions League.

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