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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Erik ten Hag doesn’t need Ousmane Dembele despite report

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Manchester United are expected to invest heavily in the transfer market this summer to challenge on all fronts next season. One area Erik ten Hag doesn’t need to strengthen is out wide, so it’s hard to see the Red Devils making an approach for Ousmane Dembele despite reports in Italy. According to Giorgio Musso of Calciomercato, Dembele has an uncertain future at Barcelona due to little progress being made on his deal. The 25-year-old is out of contract in 2024 and isn’t close to putting pen to paper on an extension, and there’s a fear he could leave for nothing next year. Dembele has made 28 appearances in all competitions this season, bagging eight goals and seven assists. The French international, who hasn’t played since January due to a hamstring injury, is turning down contract offers, meaning the writing is on the wall. Barca may consider cashing in early while Dembele still has value and United are being linked with a move. It doesn’t make sense for the Red Devils to sign him, as Ten Hag has more than enough options in Dembele’s role. Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Alejandro Garnacho and Anthony Elanga are options on the left while Antony and Facundo Pellistri are options on the right. Pellistri is being loaned out next season to continue his development with more first-team football, but would Dembele be signed while Antony is still in the squad? Musso says Chelsea, Inter Milan, Newcastle United and Juventus are also showing interest, so there could be a bidding war when the summer transfer window opens – his reported release clause is around €50 million (£44.2m) next summer. It doesn’t seem likely that Man Utd will enter the race for Dembele’s signature unless at least one existing player is moved on. Ten Hag has a more fervent need for a striker than a wide man. Stats from Transfermarkt.com

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