Man Utd could be using Ousmane Dembele as smokescreen for mega transfer

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Manchester United have once again been linked with a move for Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele. The France international is out of contract with Barcelona next summer and United are said to be interested in his services.

Right wing has been a problem position for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, with the likes of Mason Greenwood, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Amad and Daniel James all featuring there at times this season.

However, no one has yet made the position their own and, after failing to bring in a winger last summer, United could look to strengthen out wide this summer.

Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho was their top target but they refused to pay his asking price and missed out.

United do retain an interest in the England international and these latest links with Dembele could be a ‘smokescreen’ while they revisit their interest in Sancho.

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Last summer, United attempted to use a similar tactic to get Dortmund to lower their asking price for Sancho.

When they were linked with a whole host of alternative options to forward, Gareth Bale emerged as a rumoured target.

However, Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet claimed that United were not actually interested in Bale but they were instead attempting to use links with the Real Madrid superstar as a ‘smokescreen’.

It was claimed that United hoped that the links would put pressure on Dortmund in their talks about a deal for Sancho, with the Bundesliga side setting the winger’s asking price at £108m and refusing to lower it.

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Although the tactic ultimately proved to be unsuccessful, the situation will be different this summer as a result of the financial effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has admitted the pandemic could force the club into “giving up a player”.

“In the midst of a pandemic, I am now ruling nothing out,” he told Handelsblatt.

“But it is not necessarily the aim. The most important thing is the financial balance: that we have a strong team on the field and at the same time are economically stable.

“If we play the whole of next season without spectators, we must certainly think about giving up a player. 

“For the hell out of it, asking banks for credit lines just to not sell a player is not going to be our way.

“We are still unable to make a forecast for the year as a whole. As long as the situation persists, we will not be in the black. 

“Our liabilities are currently at 26.7 million euros. This shows that BVB has great economic strength and is very stable.”

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