Dembele in, James out at United?

English Premier League

Manchester United have reportedly opened talks with FC Barcelona over the signing of Ousmane Dembele with Daniel James look set to leave the club.

United appear to have given up their pursuit for Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Jadon Sancho as their right-wing target and with James faltering in the opening day of the season, it's believed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will allow him to depart.

Leeds United have been a long-term admirer of the Wales international and previously saw a deadline day move fail for his services whilst still on the books of Swansea City.

It's been claimed in English media, Marcelo Bielsa's side has now rekindled their interest in James with the Red Devils actively persuing targets for his preferred role.

According to TalkSport, Solskjaer has set his sights on 23-year-old Dembele who has fallen out of favour at the Blaugrana since his £96-million switch from Dortmund in 2017.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner was signed as a direct replacement for Neymar after his world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain but he's yet to establish himself in the starting line-up with injuries crippling his rapid development.

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"This is going to be a very complicated deal, because Barcelona would want to recoup the bulk of the €105m (£96m) they paid Dortmund back in 2017," transfer specialist Alex Crook said.

"My understanding is United would like to do a loan deal with an option to buy full-time next summer. But I think Barcelona would want that permanent deal rubber-stamped as an obligation before they even consider letting him go.

"And this is what infuriates Man United fans, I think. Because they still bill themselves as one of the biggest clubs in the world, Solskjaer has said that himself, but the perception is they’re always trying to do stuff on the cheap."

Dembele has scored 19 goals and registered 17 assists in 74 games across all competitions for the Spanish top-flight outfit.

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