He would do well to remember the last transfer window in which Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele was not linked with a move to Manchester United.
Despite several years and an increasing number of transfer windows, the Frenchman remains the subject of endless transfer rumour, with United remaining linked to the former Borussia Dortmund star whose future, now that we enter the last few days of the January window, it remains as unpredictable as ever.
Although the 24-year-old wants to stay at Camp Nou beyond Monday night’s deadline, Barcelona have, not for the first time, told the winger to find a new club. Dembélé has been at the center of a contract dispute for several months. He wants to stay and fulfill his contract which expires in the summer, while the La Liga giants want to get rid of him now.
In addition, he has also rejected the new contract offer that has been presented to him by Barcelona, and the deal is said to have involved a salary cut.
In perhaps their biggest holdout against Dembele’s demands yet, Barcelona, as reported by The Athletic, are now working on a deal to re-sign former winger Adama Traore from Wolves on loan for the remainder. of the season, in a deal that includes the option to buy it at the end of the season. The prospect of securing a deal for the lightning-quick winger before the deadline will only push Dembele further down the pecking order and motivate Barcelona’s desire to send him packing.
Considering Barcelona paid a staggering £121.5m for his signing in August 2017, with Dembélé, at the time, destined to become one of the best players on the planet, the Spanish giants, who still Facing financial difficulties, they are going to have to bear a huge loss, so much so that a recent report in French newspaper Le Parisien claimed that a £17m offer would be enough to sign him.
In truth, Barcelona could be accused of getting ahead of themselves too quickly. Dembélé had only spent one season at Dortmund and while there’s no denying he impressed, scoring ten goals and providing 21 assists during the 2016/17 campaign, it was a dazzling fee for such a young and inexperienced player, even if his potential blinded him. his thought.
His time at Barcelona could not have been more disastrous if he had tried. Playing just 129 times in nearly five years, the winger, who has scored 31 goals and claimed 23 assists during that time, has seen his career dictated by injury problems, so much so that he has missed more than 100 games due to being out since playing. joined the club. Furthermore, off-field issues have also played a key role in Dembélé’s forgettable time in Spain, such as not attending club events where he was expected to appear.
Bearing all this in mind, plus his demand for a salary increase at the Camp Nou, United must stay away, although he is not expected to launch a last-minute move for the French international, who is seen as a real alternative to the long-term goal Jadon Sancho deadline in the summer of 2020, just when it seemed the Reds would never get their hands on the England star.
Since then, United have, of course, added Sancho to their ranks, meaning they are not short of options when it comes to wide-open players, with Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Elanga all striving to earn regular spots on the wings. .
Like many players of the past, some thrive in a different environment after failing in others. Ask Alexis Sanchez.
But United, even if tempted by a late move from Dembélé, should avoid it at all costs. Despite being just 24 years old, Dembélé’s injury record makes for bleak reading, and the Reds cannot afford to carry a player on such high salaries that they can only offer his services in dribs and drabs.
Someone, somewhere will definitely take that gamble, but United shouldn’t, even if long-running transfer rumors linking him with a move to Old Trafford continue to rumble and dominate the gossip columns.
Traore may soon be checking into the Camp Nou, but the prospect of Dembele leaving shouldn’t even sneak into United’s thoughts.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.