Manchester United were all set to sign Barcelona youngster Ousmane Dembele on deadline day with all the paperwork signed and “agreed” by both parties.
After repeatedly trying and failing to secure a deal for Jadon Sancho from Dortmund, Manchester United were forced to look elsewhere to salvage any hopes of signing a big-name player this summer. And with the Catalans looking to get rid of the Frenchman to free up wages for Memphis Depay, the stars seemed to have aligned perfectly. But a last-minute u-turn from Ousmane Dembele led to a frustrating end to the transfer window for The Red Devils.
France Football (via Sports Witness) claims that the paperwork for the transfer was still being filled out at 6 pm on deadline day before the “axe fell” later that evening and Dembele refused to sign. The 23-year old informed the club that he had no intention of leaving and would instead fight for his spot in the team, leaving Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman ‘upset’ and frustrated and him telling the youngster he was in for a tough season.
This refusal by Dembele to join United subsequently saw several other transfers fall through as a sort of domino effect, with Barcelona not being able to free up funds to sign Depay from French club Lyon, and Lyon, in turn, not being able to sign Algerian striker Islam Slimani from Leicester City.
This held implications for Leicester too as they wanted to offload Slimani, who had already agreed on terms with Lyon and was ready to sign. As of now, Dembele’s future at Barcelona remains uncertain. The club is likely to try and sign Depay again in the next window, and the Frenchman could may as well be the scapegoat who makes way. Barca have lost patience with Dembele’s recurring injuries and want to secure multiple transfer targets with his sale.
While Dembele has shown a desire to remain at the Nou Camp, him moving closer to the end of his current contract will only make matters worse for the Spanish giants as clubs will be reluctant to pay his expensive transfer value and would much rather wait his contract out to sign him for free.
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