Manchester United have been linked with an audacious move for Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele this summer, according to a report in Don Balon. The Frenchman, who only left Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth a provisional €105m last summer, struggled during his first season at Camp Nou, and the Catalan side would reportedly be open to swapping him for his countryman and current wantaway United forward Anthony Martial.
Ander Herrera could also be brought into the deal, with Barca coach Ernesto Valverde known to be an admirer of the Spanish midfielder and the former Athletic Bilbao man.
As rumours go, it doesn’t get much more outlandish than this. Don Balon are hardly known for being subtle when it comes to presenting transfer stories, but it would take a gigantic leap of faith to trust that Barcelona are already looking to offload the French forward that they spent so lavishly on just twelve months ago. Dembele’s purchase was funded primarily by the sale of Neymar to Paris Saint Germain, and whilst the former Bundesliga star struggled with injuries and for form in his debut campaign, it would take a remarkable set of circumstances to suggest that the reigning La Liga champions are already looking to cut their losses.
Other parts of the report are far less difficult to believe. Martial’s desire to leave Old Trafford was laid bare by the player’s agent in the French press earlier this summer, having struggled for playing time since the arrival of Alexis Sanchez in January. For Herrera, the player has shown no inclination to exit Old Trafford, but with only one year left on his current deal and with Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred bought by the club this summer, opportunities for the Spaniard could be limited. Still, it would be a stunning shock to see Dembele at any other clun than Barcelona this coming season.