Manchester United reportedly had a very high profile deadline-day deal in the bag, until 8pm when the “the axe fell”.
According to France Football (via Sport Witness), United thought they were going to add to their squad with a Barcelona attacker.
Manchester United and Barcelona “agreed” a deal for Ousmane Dembele 48 hours before the window closed on Monday, October 5.
Things looked to be going along nicely, with Memphis Depay set to go to Barca, with Lyon picking up Islam Slimani from Leicester.
Ronald Koeman was understood to be happy that Dembele would free up space in his budget to get Memphis.
However, all three deals fell through at 8pm on deadline day when Dembele refused to swap Catalonia for Manchester.
As per the report, the deal for 23-year-old Dembele was bubbling along with “pre-filled documents sent to the various players to be transferred to their respective future clubs” at 6pm.
Two hours later though “the axe fell”. The former Dortmund attacker Dembele informing Barcelona that he had no intention of leaving Barca for Manchester United or any other club.
The report claims Koeman, who was intent on landing his fellow countryman Memphis, was “upset”. And even promised Dembele a “tough” season.
Koeman had gone public on his efforts to sign former Manchester United man Memphis.
Koeman managed to offload Luis Suarez, but was hoping the departure of Dembele would allow him to sign Memphis.
Barcelona left frustrated
It’s understood that as soon as United knew that Jadon Sancho was out of reach, Solskjaer pursued a move for Dembele.
The refusal to move to United not only angered Koeman, but also Barca officials.
It’s claimed the decision also “did not sit well” with Barcelona’s hierarchy, according to ESPN.
Dembele did start the shock 1-0 defeat to Getafe on Saturday, although Koeman did hook him on 62 minutes.
Superstar Ansu Fati replaced him and the latter looks likely to get a run of games this season after his breakthrough last term.