Manchester United chief Ed Woodward may be about to steer the club into an unmitigated disaster if recent reports are to be believed…
According to Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, the Red Devils remain locked in negotiations with Barcelona for Ousmane Dembele, though the two sides are yet to reach an agreement.
It’s claimed that United have offered a loan deal, but this has been rejected by Barcelona, as the Catalan club are only interested in offloading the former French international on a permanent basis.
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Romano also revealed that Dembele did not train with the rest of the first team today as discussions continue over a possible move.
At first the future seemed so bright for the Barca flop but the £135m signing has suffered from the burden of expectations so far.
Lionel Messi insists he is “frightening in training” but there has been little-to-no evidence at all to show for that on the pitch.
Last term, the Frenchman only managed to play in nine games in all competitions for the club, scoring just once in La Liga, as he struggled to cope with recurring injury problems. You have to go all the way back to the 2018/19 campaign before you can begin to contemplate the fact that he scored eight goals in 29 games in the Spanish top flight.
It is perhaps no surprise at all that he has fallen further down the pecking order, with newly-appointed Barca boss Ronald Koeman preferring Antoine Griezmann on the right wing.
He even suffered the ignominy of being left out of the squad altogether as he was absent from the side that faced Sevilla on Sunday.
If he can’t seem to get a chance at the Nou Camp, then why would he be guaranteed any game time at all at Old Trafford?
Man United are, without a doubt, in desperate need of a right winger, as Daniel James and Juan Mata are Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s only viable options on the wings, while there are some encouraging signs from Mason Greenwood as well.
And although Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho has been Solskjaer’s top transfer target, the chances of signing the England international seem to be getting ever slimmer with each passing minute.
It’s unknown how much Dembele will cost the Red Devils, but he is believed to be on a contract worth a whopping £215,000-a-week at Barcelona, which is quite ludicrous when you consider the fact he has barely featured at all. His market value is also estimated at £50m via Transfermarkt.
Even Marcus Rashford is ‘only’ on £250k-per-week. The Englishman may find it insulting if Dembele demands more off the back of an abysmal season in European football.
Woodward will know he cannot afford to make another mistake after slipping up by signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal. Once is a mistake, twice is a decision, and if there are any more after that then he has no chance of being forgiven.
This is simply a signing that the board must avoid making at all costs.