MANCHESTER UNITED EYEING BARCELONA FLOP, OUSMANE DEMBELE AS SANCHO’S ALTERNATIVE

After missing the deadline to sign on Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United are reported by Daily Mail as lining up a move for Barcelona flop Ousmane Dembele.

United’s £108million pursuit of the England star appeared all but over after the Bundesliga giants insisted Sancho will play for them next season.

Dortmund had set a deadline of Monday for United to reach an agreement with them, but the club’s chief Michael Zorc insisted United have no chance of signing Sancho now after he jetted off with his team-mates to Switzerland for a pre-season training camp.

Sancho is reportedly keen on a move to Old Trafford but United chiefs will turn their attention to Dembele should they fail to agree on a deal for the 20-year-old, according to ESPN.

ESPN are reporting that United have held ‘informal talks’ with Barcelona over a move for the French winger, who has two years left on his current deal.

The 23-year-old has endured a disappointing three years at the Nou Camp and has not played a competitive match since November after undergoing surgery on his hamstring in February.

United are reportedly wanting to take the former Dortmund star on an initial season-long loan with an obligation to buy, though no official approach has been made, the report claims. 

Dembele, who cost the Catalan giants a whopping £136million in 2017, would still need to convince the club to allow him to leave for the Premier League. 

However, United remain intent on pursuing a deal for Sancho but have become increasingly frustrated at the slow pace of discussions and Dortmund’s insistence on using intermediaries to negotiate the deal.

Dortmund’s valuation of the England winger continues to be a stumbling block along with the players’ wages and his agent’s fees.

Dortmund wanted the situation resolved ahead of the start of their pre-season tour so they could plan ahead for the new campaign but United refused to be rushed into reaching an agreement. 

Dortmund’s deadline was considered an artificial one and a deal could still be struck at a later date.

The two clubs have been in talks but at odds over the fee and structure of a proposed deal with Dortmund’s demand for £108m deemed excessive by United in the current climate, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc said: ‘We plan on having Jadon Sancho in our team this season, the decision is final. I think that answers all our questions.’

Sportsmail understands that the personal terms United are discussing with Sancho’s camp would not break a United wage structure that, following the departure of Alexis Sanchez, is now topped by £375,000-per-week David De Gea and Paul Pogba who is paid £290,000-per-week.