Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has played down the possibility of Ousmane Dembele joining Manchester United before the summer window closes and says he is still counting on the player.
According to reports, United have been working on a deal to sign the winger, either on an initial loan or in a permanent transfer worth around £50m.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to sign a new right winger this summer and with talks for Jadon Sancho at a complete standstill, they are now looking at Dembele as a cheaper option.
Dembele has so far failed to live up to his huge price tag at Camp Nou and did not even make Koeman’s starting lineup for the first La Liga game of the season against Villarreal.
But, Koeman says he has a place for Dembele in his team, though he did concede that any decision over a possible transfer would be up to the player and Barcelona.
Asked about the rumours surrounding the Frenchman’s future at the club, Koeman said: ‘Dembele’s situation? I’m counting on him.
‘He was very good in the first weeks [of pre-season] but he had a downturn last week. ‘He trained well today and I’m counting on him. But these are decisions for the club and the player.’
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On why Dembele was not in the team that beat Villarreal, he said: ‘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.’
Barcelona are still looking to add new players but are hamstrung by their financial restrictions, which is why Dembele could be sold to raise funds for reinforcements.
Koeman added: ‘We know that the club have financial limitations. We’re working to strengthen ourselves in two or three positions. Everything is very insecure. If no-one arrives, I have no complaints about the players we have.’