MANCHESTER UNITED’S hunt for a new winger goes on after the club were warned off a bid for Ousmane Dembele.
Amid massive upheaval at Barcelona, the French forward has been named as a key young player for the club to build around.
Ousmane Dembele is set to stay at Barcelona despite a nightmare campaign due to injuries[/caption]
Blaugrana president Josep Maria Bartomeu, fresh from the exits of coach Quique Setien and sporting director Eric Abidal, reassured supporters on Tuesday evening that key players will not leave.
And, despite mustering only nine appearances in an injury-ravaged campaign, £135.5million signing Dembele is considered indispensable at the Camp Nou.
Bartomeu named the 23-year-old alongside Lionel Messi, Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann as “non-transferable”.
He told Barca TV: “Messi is untouchable & non-transferable. He knows it, we all know it.
“But there are various non-transferable players like [Marc-Andre] ter Stegen, [Clement] Lenglet, [Nelson] Semedo, De Jong, Griezmann, Dembele… players we are counting on in the future.”
He added: “The renewal will be as deep as necessary.
“We formulate plans each season to win everything. It is a goal and a necessity, but also a desire.
“With hindsight, after Anfield [and the 2019 Champions League semi-final defeat] was the time to do it.”
United are well known to be hunting for attacking reinforcements this summer, chiefly in the form of Jadon Sancho.
The Borussia Dortmund star is rated at £108m by his current club and an apparent deadline to agree a deal with the Bundesliga side has now passed.
One man who thinks Dembele is an ideal alternative to Sancho is Barcelona and Brazil legend Rivaldo.
The 48-year-old named the France international as the best second choice for the Red Devils, with Douglas Costa also linked.
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Rivaldo told Betfair: “There are rumours about him leaving the club at the end of the season, but while he is around, the manager should use him.
“Manchester United are rumoured to be interested in him after having difficulties in their bid to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
“Dembele could be a good option for United. He’s very quick and talented, and I believe he could prosper in the Premier League.”