Moussa Dembele 'Happy to Stay with Lyon' Amid Manchester United Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2019

Lyon's French forward Moussa Dembele (C) celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Bordeaux (FCGB) and Lyon (OL) on April 26, 2019 at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux, southwestern France. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP)        (Photo credit should read NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images)
NICOLAS TUCAT/Getty Images

Moussa Dembele is committed to Lyon despite rumours linking the prolific former Fulham and Celtic striker with Manchester United.

The Frenchman moved to Lyon from Glasgow last summer and revealed he's content, even if he did leave the exit door slightly ajar, per Joe Bray of the Manchester Evening News: "I signed for five years with Lyon and I'm happy there but we'll see what happens. I'm happy to stay with Lyon next season but we'll see."

Earlier this week, Mike McGrath of The Sun reported Red Devils chief Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is willing to pay as much as £40 million for the 22-year-old as he builds a "younger, hungrier squad for next season."

There is little doubt Dembele would be an asset at Old Trafford thanks to his pace and keen eye for goal.

Dembele has become a key figure for Lyon, whether in the starting XI or when arriving to salvage points from off the bench:

He is maturing into a capable No. 9, something Solskjaer's squad lacks. Marcus Rashford is an option, but the 21-year-old remains an inconsistent finisher whose pace and energy can better suit a role on the flanks.

It's a similar story with Anthony Martial, who continues to struggle for consistency since arriving from AS Monaco back in 2015.

Keeping the pair around could be as challenging as improving their form. Solskjaer reportedly wants to offload Martial but is unlikely to get his wish thanks to co-chairman Joel Glazer's belief in the player's talent, per David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror.

Meanwhile, United are reportedly prepared to make Rashford the club's second-highest earner behind Alexis Sanchez to convince the England international to sign a new contract, according to Steve Millar of the Daily Star Sunday.

Martial and Rashford have struggled to emerge as United's main presence up front.
Martial and Rashford have struggled to emerge as United's main presence up front.Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Solskjaer also has a problem relying on Romelu Lukaku to lead the line. The former Everton ace has flopped since arriving in a deal worth £75 million back in 2017.

Ex-Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is said to want to sign Lukaku if he becomes manager of Inter Milan this summer, per Corriere dello Sport (h/t MailOnline's Jack Kinnersley).

Dembele would give United greater athleticism at the top end of the final third. However, changes in the Lyon dugout could hamper any plans Solskjaer has to bring the precocious forward to the red half of Manchester.

Lyon have hired former midfielder Juninho Pernambucano as sporting director and ex-Arsenal and Barcelona full-back Sylvinho as manager. Club president Jean-Michel Aulas revealed to OL TV (h/t Get French Football News) the pair will take over "before the end of May."

If they choose to build a new-look team around one of Lyon's best young stars, Solskjaer will need to broaden his search for an attacking talisman.

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