Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side view Dembele as a potential alternative to top target Jadon Sancho, according to The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell.
Nicol was asked about the speculation and said there is no way the Frenchman will be swapping the Camp Nou for Old Trafford this summer.
“No chance. Barcelona are not giving this guy away. I’m not sure they could give him away. He’s done absolutely nothing to show why Barcelona paid over €100 million for this kid.
“There are question marks over him off the field as well. That’s certainly not what Manchester United are about now. They are about, certainly about bringing in young players, but young players with good attitudes, that really do have huge potential and they think they can get it out of them.
“I don’t see that with Dembele. I think he’s going to be one of these kids who is going to mosey along in his career and all we are going to say is ‘what if,’ ‘he could have been,’ ‘potential,’ all the things that when you get to the latter stages of your career you don’t want to be hearing about yourself.”
Dembele signed for Barcelona in August 2017 from Borussia Dortmund on a five-year deal. Yet the Frenchman has been plagued by injury during his time at the Camp Nou and has only made 74 appearances in almost three seasons.
When Will Dembele Return?
Indeed Dembele is currently sidelined after undergoing surgery in February to repair a torn hamstring that saw the club rule him out of action for six months.
Javier Miguel at AS has reported that Dembele’s recovery is behind schedule and he is not expected to be fit for Barcelona’s Champions League game with Napoli on August 8.
The 23-year-old has still not returned to first-team training, and it seems likely he will not play for Barcelona again until next season.
What Next for Dembele and Barcelona?
Barcelona are open to selling players this summer but Dembele’s “injury history is off-putting for interested parties,” according to Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens at ESPN.
Dembele has only played nine times in total in 2019-20, and his agent has said he is not expecting the youngster to leave Camp Nou this summer.
Meanwhile, Dembele will simply be hoping he can get back out on the pitch and enjoy an injury-free run. There is no doubting the forward’s talent and potential but his career at Barca so far has been overshadowed by his injury problems.