Manchester United have reportedly opened discussions with Barcelona to secure a season-long loan deal for France international Ousmane Dembele.
Borussia Dortmund appear to have ruled out a move for United’s first-choice attacking target, Jadon Sancho, 20, this summer.
And United have been forced to scour the market for alternatives despite agreeing personal terms with the England winger.
And the Red Devils have identified the 23-year-old as a possible back-up option to Sancho with just less than two weeks remaining of the summer transfer window.
According to Duncan Castles of Record Sport, senior United officials, including executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, have begun a dialogue with Barcelona to gauge Dembele’s potential availability.
The report claims Barca are open to sanctioning a temporary move for the forward before next month’s transfer deadline – but only if an obligatory purchase option is included in their agreement.
The La Liga outfit are demanding a fee of €100million (£92m) from clubs wanting to sign Dembele outright this summer.
Dembele has struggled for form and fitness across a frustrating three-year stay in Spain and has so far failed to live up to his hefty £135m transfer fee.
But he is determined to fight for his place under new head coach Ronald Koeman and would prefer to remain in Catalonia as it stands.