May 2, 2020
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solakjaer is reportedly lining up a transfer bid for France and Lyon striker Moussa Dembele, according to reports. The United manager will be seeking to improve his forward line, also stacking up on options after losing both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, at times, to injury during the 2019/20 season.
Dembele has made a total of 42 appearances for this club this season, before the coronavirus pandemic halted world football, subsequently cancelling the season in France with all sporting events being cancelled by the Government until later in the year. He has scored 22 goals in all competitions, also assisting seven further goals.
These are the sort of figures that Solskjaer would expect to see from a striker in his team. It would take some pressure off Martial and Rashford, also allow the likes of Mason Greenwood to grow in the team ready for what is expected to be a brilliant future for the player. Coming through the academy at Fulham, Dembele would be classed as home grown.
In the past, both Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea have held an interest in the French striker – neither club making a solid move for him, despite playing for Fulham already in his career. United are reportedly interested in quickly moving for the player because of the coronavirus pandemic with clubs around Europe likely to struggle financially.
United have suggested that their healthy finances could help them in the upcoming transfer window with Solskjaer seeking to sign players to help him complete his team ready for a new challenge. With French football being ended until at least September, Dembele, with English football likely to continue this season, would have more certainty.
Lyon finished the French season in seventh place, missing out on European football next season, which is something that United could find would be somewhat certain, even if the season does finish now for the Premier League teams, unless a different approach at ending the season was found. United are seemingly guaranteed UEFA Europa League football next season, although with Manchester City banned, UEFA Champions League football could be possible.
United signed Odion Ighalo from Shanghai Shenhua during the January transfer window, on a six-month loan spell. The 30-year-old Nigerian striker was said to be a top target for the summer, but a £400,000 a week contract extension from the Chinese club could cause problems as United would not be able to offer him anything similar.
The fact the coronavirus pandemic as happened, meaning United’s financial clout could get them what they want, could be a good thing for English football and United in particular. Dembele is one of the best rising stars in world football and could lead the line for United for the best part of a decade if he does move to the Old Trafford club.
United being in the Champions League next season would be a great bargaining position for United to lure Dembele to the Old Trafford club next season, so the resumption of the Premier League season would be a good thing for United, who finished in fifth place, three points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea after the season was suspended in March.