According to reports, Manchester United have not given up hopes of signing Ousmane Dembele on loan and could return for the Barcelona forward in January.

In the summer, United failed to secure a deal for Dembele. On his “Here We Go Podcast”, Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claimed the 23-year-old is still a target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Reportedly, United is only interested in a short-term deal which proved to be a stumbling block in the summer negotiations with cash-strapped Barcelona wanting to sell the striker.

It is said they wanted the money to help new manager Ronald Koeman rebuild his side. But, up to date, the position still remains but Barca will be keen to avoid losing Dembele on the cheap with his contract set to expire in 2022 if United considered a permanent move.

Barca is said to be working on negotiating a new contract with the Frenchman after his decision to reject an extension prompted the initial interest from United.

It is believed the forward “appreciates” the steps Barca has taken to push fresh terms in place but, for now, uncertainty lingers over his immediate future.

Dembele has started the last three league games following the injury to Ansu Fati and has three goals in all competitions.

With Fati out for around four months, the Catalans will be reluctant to let Dembele leave the Nou Camp without having a replacement lined up.

Dembele signed for Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 in a staggering £133.5m transfer after the departure of Neymar but a string of hamstring and thigh injuries have played a part in preventing him from reaching his potential.

The forward is said to have other clubs interested in signing him but Barca is looking for a fee between £60-70m.

After missing out on Dembele, United signed Edinson Cavani on a free transfer following his release from Paris Saint-Germain.

Marcus Rashford is United’s leading goal scorer in all competitions with 14 goals, closely followed by Bruno Fernandes who is on 13.

Dembele has found the back of the net more times this season than Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, and Cavani, who currently have five goals between them.