Barcelona aware of ‘discreet movements’ from Man Utd for Ousmane Dembele transfer

Manchester United are reportedly still interested in signing Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, with the Red Devils making ‘discreet movements’ about a January swoop. Dembele emerged as a late target for United over the summer, after their failed pursuit of Jadon Sancho, but a deal could not be reached.

Now, Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo is reporting that United are ‘deepening their interest’ in the France international ahead of the January transfer window.

The report also claims that there is a ‘real possibility’ that Barcelona could let Demebele leave, with the club needing to raise funds to make signings.

Manager Ronald Koeman wants to bring in a new defender in January but he will only be able to do that if there is money available from player sales.

Barcelona are said to be after a fee between €70m and €80m but United are unwilling to pay that much.

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Dembele’s contract is set to expire in 2022 and a separate report from Spanish publication Sport claims United will instead pursue a loan deal.

However, it seems unlikely that Barcelona would let him leave on loan given their injury problems and cash demands.

The squad recently agreed to wage cuts which would save the club €122m.

The news was announced in an official statement from Barcelona, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic having a major effect on their finances.

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The statement read: “The representatives of the club and the players that make up the negotiation table for FC Barcelona salary adjustments, aware of the great interest and concern with which all of Barcelona follow the work of this commission, make this joint statement public to inform of the following:

“Today, the parties have reached an agreement in principle that allows an adjustment to salaries for the current season, for an amount of 122 million euros fixed remuneration, to which is added the deferral for 3 years of variable remuneration from this season, budgeted at an approximate figure of 50 million euros.

“This principle of agreement is pending ratification in the coming days by the group of players and coaches affected.

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“The agreement, if it is ratified, will be a milestone of great importance to redirect the current economic situation.

“That both parties recognise the great effort that has had to be made to reach this principle of agreement and congratulate themselves for it.”

Barcelona currently sit 13th in the La Liga table after a poor start to the season, which has seen them suffer three losses and two draws in their opening eight fixtures.

They have had a good start in Europe, though, going unbeaten in their Champions League campaign so far.

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