• Manchester United still want to sign Ousmane Dembele in January
  • Dembele had refused to move to Old Trafford this summer
  • Barcelona signed him for $178 million in 2017

Manchester United reportedly have not given up on signing Ousmane Dembele on loan. They could return for the FC Barcelona forward at the January transfer window.

Dembele, who denied a move to Old Trafford at the recently ended summer transfer window, is still a target of Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskajer, Spanish publication SPORT reported.

It was earlier reported that the 23-year-old left Barcelona furious when he refused to accept the loan move to Manchester United this summer. Dembele's transfer would have allowed Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman to sign his top target, Memphis Depay, from Lyon.

Barcelona have labeled Dembele with an asking price of at least $83 million, which can rise up to $95 million. The SPORT reported that Solskjaer's side is interested in a short-term deal for Dembele instead of signing the forward on a permanent basis. However, it would be difficult to convince Barcelona to let go of Dembele in January, considering the club's ongoing injury woes.

After Dembele refused to leave Camp Nou this summer, Koeman took the high road and decided to prepare a new contract for the player, whose current deal with the club is due to expire in 2022. It is understood that the Old Trafford side stands a chance in Dembele's case only if they approach Barcelona with a permanent deal instead of a loan deal.

Ansu Fati, who is tipped to be Lionel Messi's heir at Barcelona, recently suffered a knee injury. Following that, he underwent a successful surgery that would keep him sidelined for a minimum of four months, meaning he was expected to miss the majority of the 2020-21 campaign.

In his absence, Dembele has started the last three league games for Barcelona and has netted three goals in as many as nine competitive appearances this season. In the entire previous season, Dembele managed to secure only nine competitive appearances, where he scored only once.

 Ousmane Dembele (L) of Barcelona competes for the ball with Axel Witsel of Borussia Dortmund
Ousmane Dembele (L) of Barcelona competes for the ball with Axel Witsel of Borussia Dortmund Getty Images | Pablo Morano

Barcelona signed Dembele at a hefty price of $178 million from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 as a replacement for Neymar, who had moved to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). But a series of hamstring and thigh injuries have been hindering him from displaying his actual potential while representing the La Liga giants.