Manchester United have received a boost in their pursuit of Ousmane Dembele, according to reports.
The France international was linked with a season-long loan move to Old Trafford last summer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side made Jadon Sancho their leading transfer target, but a failure to land the England international saw the club turn its attention to Dembele.
They were unable to agree a deal before the deadline, but United (opens in new tab) have continued to keep tabs on the forward.
And the Red Devils will be buoyed by a report from Sport (opens in new tab) which states that discussions over a new contract between Dembele and Barcelona (opens in new tab) have made little progress.
The former Borussia Dortmund (opens in new tab) winger’s current deal runs until the end of next season.
Barcelona have been hoping to tie Dembele down to an extension, with the Frenchman having become a more important part of the first-team squad this season.
However, the Spanish outlet reports that Barcelona’s offer of a new three-year deal has yet to entice Dembele to the table.
If the 23-year-old does not put pen to paper on a new deal, Barcelona are expected to listen to offers for him this summer.
The La Liga giants do not want to risk losing Dembele on a free transfer at the end of next season.
It is not yet clear whether United will renew their interest in the attacker, but they could take advantage of the stalled talks in the coming months.
“He’s an important player,” Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman said of Dembele earlier this month.
“He’s shown that with his performance here [against Real Valladolid] and above all with the goal that gave us three points. Ousmane’s development this season has been really good.
“Physically, he’s improved a lot; I think that’s been the key to his quality and consistency to play so many games. So, yes, if it’s up to me, I would like him to stay with us.”
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