Manchester United could move for Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele this summer if they fail to secure the signature of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
The England international has been a long-term target for United, and progress is reportedly being made to get that deal over the line, but Dembele is viewed as an alternative option if the 21-year-old stays put.
United enjoyed fans saw their team progress last season, achieving consecutive fourth-place finishes in the Premier League for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
However, they also witnessed their side crash out of the Champions League group stages and fall to defeat in the Europa League final, extending their longest trophy drought in over 30 years.
With Liverpool already making moves in the transfer market, strengthening their backline with the acquisition of Ibrahima Konate, and Chelsea bidding for the highly-rated Achraf Hakimi, the Red Devils need to bolster their ranks over the coming months.
The Transfer Window podcast host Castles has claimed that United may do so by bringing in Dembele, ending his four-year Camp Nou nightmare.
“Man United turned to Dembele at the end of the last transfer window when they couldn’t get (Jadon) Sancho,” he revealed.
“They made a number of bids and (held) extensive negotiations with FC Barcelona. (It’s) something they had in play from early in last summer’s transfer window.”
“They’re not working in the same way with Dembele this summer, but they have asked to be kept informed of what Dembele does and if he becomes available,” Castles continued.
“He is a back-option, and they’ve done a little bit of work on (a possible deal).”
The £210,000-per-week flop has failed to hit the heights during his time with the Catalan giants. A string of serious injuries have limited the 24-year-old to just 118 appearances in all competitions since his arrival back in 2017.
And although he’s shown glimpses of his top-class quality, Dembele has failed to hit double figures in either goals or assists during his four La Liga campaigns.
If United are going to close the 12-point gap to Premier League champions Manchester City next term, then Solskjaer needs to bring in someone with a far greater output than the Barca ace.