Man United held negotiations with €60m-rated France international

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has played down the opportunities of Ousmane Dembele moving to Man United before the window closes and says he is counting on the forward. Red Devils have been working on a deal to bring France international to the Theatre of Dreams, either on an initial loan or in a permanent deal worth £50m.

The Norwegian boss has been desperate to add a new right-winger to his squad this summer and with talks for Jadon Sancho at a complete standstill, they are now eyeing Ousmane as a cheaper alternative.

Dembele has failed to live up to his enormous price tag at Barca and did not make Ronald’s starting line-up for the first match of the new Liga campaign with Villarreal.

However, the Dutch manager insists he does see a place for the 23-year-old winger in his squad, though he did admit that any decision over a transfer would be up to the player and the club. Asked about the rumours surrounding the French forward’s future, Ronald Koeman told reporters: ‘Dembele’s situation? I’m counting on him.

‘He was very good in the first weeks but he had a downturn last week.’ On why Dembele did not get in the side that beat Villarreal, he added: ‘Dembele did not start the last game because Ansu Fati has proved to be a very good player, and he will have to wait for his moment.’

The Catalan giants are still looking to make new additions but are hamstrung by their financial restrictions, which is why the World Cup winner could be offloaded to raise funds for reinforcements.