Manchester United have opened talks with Barcelona over a loan move for striker Ousmane Dembélé.
It is a tacit recognition that their long pursuit of Jadon Sancho has proved fruitless, at least for this window, with Borussia Dortmund unwilling to budge on their asking price.
Dembélé joined Barcelona from Dortmund in 2017 for £97 million, when he was rated as one of the most exciting young forwards in Europe. However, his time at the Nou Camp has been blighted by injuries and he made just 9 competitive appearances for the Spaniards in all competitions last season.
He has also had disciplinary officials off the pitch, with reports of missed training sessions and problems with punctuality, a pattern that has continued into this season under new manager Ronald Koeman.
Now with his first-team opportunities likely to be limited this year, he is open to a move that could help kick-start his career and regain his place in the French national team.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.