Man United respond to Barcelona’s cheeky tactics in bid to force Ousmane Dembele bidding war

Manchester United have poured cold water on reports they are interested in signing Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele.

Dembele has been in the headlines during the January transfer window following a dramatic falling out at Barcelona.

The 24-year-old initially looked set to stay with the Catalan club, who had offered him a new contract.

But Barca were unwilling to match Dembele’s huge wage demands and, after both sides leaked details to the media, they agreed to part ways.

However, finding a taker for the Frenchman, who they paid Borussia Dortmund £135million for in 2017, is proving difficult.

Newcastle United, Manchester United and Chelsea have all been linked with a move for Dembele this month.

That report came from Spanish outlet Marca, but United have distanced themselves from Dembele as Monday’s 11pm transfer deadline approaches.

According to Manchester Evening News, United have no interest in Dembele and have not submitted a bid for him.

The Premier League club have put the rumours down to Barcelona trying to drum up interest in their highly-paid player who they are desperate to get rid of.

“It’s clear that Dembele does NOT want to continue with Barcelona,” Barcelona director Mateu Alemany said earlier this month.

“He doesn’t want to be part of our project. We told Dembele he has to leave immediately. We expect Ousmane to be sold before Jan 31.”

Dembele has contributed 31 goals and 23 assists in 129 appearances for the Catalan club over the past four and a half years.

The France international has just two assists in 10 appearances this season.

It appears unlikely that United will wrap up a move for any new players before the transfer window closes on Monday evening.

But there could still be some departures, with Donny van de Beek, Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones among those hoping to leave.

Van de Beek is closing in on a loan move to Everton, Newcastle remain keen on taking Lingard, while Jones has been linked with Bordeaux.