Manchester United transfer news: Red Devils target Ousmane Dembele ready to sign new Barcelona contract

Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele
(Image credit: PA)

Manchester United might be left disappointed in their pursuit of Ousmane Dembele as he closes in on a new long-term contract at Barcelona.

According to Marca, Dembele is on the cusp of committing his future to Barca despite continued links to Man United and Liverpool.

It’s been a dramatic turnaround for the French international, who looked to be heading for the exit last summer after being dogged by injuries and inconsistent form since arriving in Spain.

Ronald Koeman was open to letting Dembele leave the club when he first took over, but a proposed loan move to the Red Devils fell through late on.

The 23-year-old has seized his opportunity in the absence of Ansu Fati and played his way into form, scoring three goals in his last five games, including a vital late winner against Real Valladolid.

Tasked with using his pace to stretch the play, giving Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann more space to operate in behind him, Dembele has been a revelation.

He joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund for an initial fee of €105million in August 2017, but often flattered to deceive.

The club were questioning the wisdom of their investment in Dembele’s potential as financial constraints set in, limiting their transfer activity under Koeman.

But the forward has belatedly started impacting games as expected and Barca are now keen to extend his contract, which expires next June.

Barcelona have won 13 of their last 14 matches in La Liga, closing the gap on leaders Atletico Madrid to a single point.

Tomorrow they face Real Madrid in a crunch tie at the Bernabeu before meeting Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final.

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