The Frenchman was reportedly on the radar of the Premier League giants, but a move failed to materialise before the close of the transfer window. That meant that Barcelona could not free up space in the squad to accommodate Memphis Depay,even after agreeing personal terms with the Dutchman.
Ousmane Dembele was courted by Manchester United as an alternative to Jadon Sancho in the later stages of the transfer window. The Red Devils had earmarked the Englishman as their primary target this summer, but negotiations with Borussia Dortmund failed to yield a positive outcome.
As time ran out and it became increasingly clear that Sancho would stay at Dortmund beyond the transfer window, the Red Devils turned their attentions elsewhere. They were interested in Ousmane Dembele, but after initially considering the English club's offer, the Frenchman decided to stay put at Camp Nou, which left Barcelona baffled.
Barcelona were willing to let Ousmane Dembele leave for cheap in the summer
After Manchester United expressed their desire to bring him to Old Trafford, Ousmane Dembele reportedly had a conversation with countryman Paul Pogba.
The Manchester United number 6 seemingly managed to convince the former Dortmund player to make the move, and as a result, a transfer looked increasingly likely.
Barcelona prepared for Ousmane Dembele's departure and readied Lyon’s Depay as the Frenchman's replacement. The Dutchman was also keen on the move as it would have reunited him with his ex-national team manager Ronald Koeman.
Even though Barcelona wanted to sell the Frenchman, Manchester United were looking for a loan move for the player because that would have enabled the English club to go for Sancho in a year’s time.
The Catalans were even willing to allow Ousmane Dembele to leave permanently for less than his market price, an option that would have enticed Ed Woodward. However, the Frenchman’s decision to back away at the 11th hour meant that all those plans had to be quashed.
Barcelona were especially irritated that Dembele decided to stay at the club even after he was informed that he would no longer be guaranteed a place in the first team. His decision to stay also displeased the Barcelona hierarchy, but the Frenchman remains committed to win his place back under Koeman.
The Dutchman has used Ousmane Dembele for just 20 minutes in the first three La Liga games of the season, and the player only made the Barcelona squad against Celta Vigo because Junior Firpo was ruled out due to an injury before the game.
With Barcelona already stacked in attacking positions and an unimpressed club hierarchy staring at him with doubtful eyes, it is hard to imagine that Ousmane Dembele could work his way into Koeman’s plans in the near future.Published 10 Oct 2020, 23:57 IST