Manchester United have reportedly identified out-of-favour Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele as an alternative for Jadon Sancho.

According to Daily Star, Manchester United seem to be laying down the contingency plan in case they are unable to land Jadon Sancho in the summer transfer window. Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele has emerged as a backup option for the Premier League heavyweights to that end.

Dembele joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2017, becoming their most expensive acquisition at the time. Signed in the aftermath of Neymar’s controversial exit from the Nou Camp, expectations were high from the young Frenchman. However, the 23-year-old has been hampered a great deal by a myriad of injuries.

In fact, since joining Barcelona, Dembele has managed to rake in just 74 appearances, with a large chunk of those appearances being off the bench. As a result, there have been suggestions that he could be moved on by the Blaugrana this summer. And Manchester United are showing an interest in the player.

By now, it is an open secret that Jadon Sancho is the priority for Manchester United heading into the summer transfer window. The Englishman has been top class since joining Borussia Dortmund, essentially becoming the replacement for Dembele after he left for Barcelona. If reports are to be believed, United have also agreed personal terms with the prodigious winger.

set to go from Barcelona to Manchester United? (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

set to go from Barcelona to Manchester United? (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Indeed, Sancho would be the long-term solution for a major problem area for Manchester United – the right wing slot. Mason Greenwood has emerged as a viable option for the position, but his long-term future is as a striker. Even in the present scenario, the Red Devils would do well to sign an attacking player to beef up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s options.

As a result, Sancho is just the kind of player Manchester United ought to sign to boost their attack. However, the major bone of contention between United and Dortmund is the price tag, with the Premier League giants prepared to wait for his valuation to reduce.

Of late, it has emerged that the asking price has reduced slightly, with the reliable James Ducker claiming that it is now down to £90 million. Having said that, if Manchester United are unable to reach an agreement with the German heavyweights over a deal for Sancho, Dembele would make for a fine cheaper alternative.

Despite his struggles at Barcelona, the 23-year-old still has his best years ahead of him and has a tremendous amount of potential. The big issue for Manchester United would be to find a solution for his fitness woes, but it goes without saying that he would be a cost-effective buy.

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic is forcing even the cash-rich Manchester United to tread with caution, it is prudent for them to agree a feasible fee for Sancho. If not, we may well see them prise Dembele away from Barcelona.

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