According to reliable sources, the Red Devils are exploring a loan deal for Dembele, who was among the substitutes during Barca’s 4-0 win over Villarreal on Sunday. Although there has been no contact yet between the English and the Catalan club for the French winger since they initially sounded out the possibility of signing him earlier this summer, there is a possibility that it could happen soon.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday ahead of the league game against Celta Vigo, Barcelona coach, Ronald Koeman said he is counting on the France international.
“This is a situation to be resolved by the club and the player. As long as the player is with us, he is part of my plans. He didn’t start [against Villarreal] because there are other players, too, and Ansu Fati has demonstrated that he is good enough to play.
“Ousmane has to wait for his chance. He was better physically in the first few weeks of preseason. He has dipped a little bit in the last week, but he trained well today and I’m counting on him,” Koeman said.
The 23-year-old joined Barca from Borussia Dortmund for an initial fee of €105 million in 2017. Unfortunately, his playing time at Barca has been reduced due to injuries.
ESPN reports that any “serious” offers would be entertained as moving Dembele on would allow Barca to turn to the transfer market themselves.
Koeman still wants a striker and defender
Meanwhile, Koeman has admitted that he still wants to sign a center-back and a striker. This has made the club to be linked with Manchester City’s Eric Garcia and Lyon’s Memphis Depay.
“We know the club has financial limitations but there are two or three positions we’re working on.
“There’s nothing certain at the moment. We’re a little weak in the center-back position for the season that lies ahead of us, while we’re also looking for another No.9,” ” Koeman added.
Barca is set to sign Sergino Dest from Ajax Amsterdam. Koeman confirmed the right-back has undergone a medical at the club. He had previously tried to convince the defender to represent the Netherlands before Dest deciding to pledge his future to the United States.
“Dest will be a very useful player for Barca. I spoke to Sergino before about the national team because he had the chance to play for Holland or the USA. But the decision must made be by the player, [based on] his feelings from inside and what prefers.
“And I think it’s good for American football that they have players like Dest, like Konrad [de la Fuente] here in Barcelona,” Koeman said.”
Messi acting in the interest of Barca fans
In another development, there has been a bit of calm in the Barca dressing room since the start of the La Liga season. This is following a turbulent summer in which Lionel Messi tried to leave the club.
Messi has since apologized to Barca supporters, saying he was acting in the best interests of the club. The skipper called on everyone to pull together in the pursuit of success this season.
“I don’t know I will have a quiet life as Barca coach after Messi’s comments, but I don’t think so — there’s always something.
“But, of course, it’s very positive that the club captain calls for us to be united and I hope we’re going to be a little calmer than have been recent,” Koeman added.