Manchester United ‘urge Ousmane Dembele to spurn Barcelona and move to Old Trafford on a free next summer despite new boss Xavi’s desire to keep winger’
- Manchester United are thought to be keen to sign Ousmane Dembele on a free
- The coveted Barcelona winger’s contract is set to expire in summer 2022
- Clubs outside Spain can thus approach him in January to sign him for nothing
- However, new Barcelona manager Xavi has stated his desire to keep Dembele
Manchester United are urging Ousmane Dembele to leave Barcelona and move to Old Trafford on a free transfer, according to reports in Spain.
The French winger’s contract expires next summer, meaning clubs outside Spain can open negotiations in January to sign him on a free transfer in July.
And according to Mundo Deportivo, United representatives are pushing Dembele to leave the Nou Camp and move to the Premier League when his deal runs out.
Manchester United are said to be urging Ousmane Dembele to join on a free next summer
The news comes despite new Barcelona manager Xavi (right) wanting to keep Dembele, 24
Dembele, who moved to the Spanish giants in 2017 – the eighth-biggest transfer of all time at £97million – as a Neymar replacement, has struggled for consistency in Catalonia.
Although his second and fourth seasons showed promise, his first season was underwhelming, he only played nine games in all competitions in his injury-hit third and he has just a sole Champions League appearance so far this campaign.
However, Barcelona recognise his potential and want to keep him at the club, offering him a two-year extension – but Dembele, 24, is yet to sign that deal as he is mulling over his offers, having ‘already seen himself’ at United, claim the reports.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are reportedly pulling out all the stops to sign the French winger
New manager Xavi said at his unveiling press conference: ‘Dembele in his position can be the best player in the world. He has to be a world class player. It’s important to have a winning mentality and consistency. We have to help him.’
Recent signing, and club icon, Dani Alves added: ‘Dembélé is an exceptional player who needs to understand that he is Barça and to believe that he is a great player, he can do many great things here.’
The Red Devils have tried to sign him on several previous occasions and are tempted again, given summer signing Jadon Sancho’s struggles and fellow winger Jesse Lingard’s potential departure.