Barcelona say Manchester United can’t have Dembele


Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona insisted on Friday that French attacker Ousmane Dembele is not heading to Manchester United.

“There are no negotiations with Manchester United,” said sporting director Ramon Planes. “He is a player we are counting on.” 

The transfer window closes on Monday, October 5. 

After Barcelona’s disastrous finish to last season, Planes, who was named in his post in August, has been conducting a squad overhaul with new manager Ronald Koeman.

The 23-year-old Demebele, who has suffered a series of hamstring injuries since arriving from Dortmund in 2017, has been linked with a move away.

“We hope to be able to take advantage of his footballing talent. I am convinced that he will have a great year with us”, Planes told a press conference to introduce teenage Dutch defender Sergino Dest.

“There are four days left of mercato, it’s an atypical mercato. A lot can happen,” Planes added.

He signalled that two French defenders, World Cup winner Samuel Umtiti and 20-year-old Jean-Clair Todibo, could be following Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal out of the club.

“For Umtiti, we wish him all the best. He is a great player, but at the moment he is going through a bad situation, which is typical of injuries in football,” Planes said.

“Jean-Clair has several offers. He wants to have time to play and grow up in another team, and that must be respected.” 

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