Reports in the English media over the last 24 hours suggest that Manchester United have stepped up their pursuit of Lyon star Moussa Dembele.
23-year-old hitman Dembele made a return to his home country in the summer of 2018, when the Frenchman joined Lyon from Celtic for €22 million.
And, on the back of an impressive stint with the Scottish champions, Dembele has since gone on to carry his goalscoring exploits back to Ligue 1.
The powerful attacker’s debut season at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais saw him rack up 20 goals and 6 assists across all competitions.
And Dembele has continued to impress to this point in the current campaign, having found the back of the net on 22 occasions prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
United step up pursuit
As such, speculation that the French talent, who has also been prolific for Les Bleus’ U21 side, has piqued the interest of some of European football’s heavyweights has inevitably begun to mount.
A host of Premier League clubs have been named as keen admirers, with many of the opinion that the rough and tumble nature of the English top-flight make it ideally suited to the attacker’s talents.
To this point, though, two clubs, above all others, have long been viewed as the leading candidates for Dembele’s signature.
The sides in questions are Chelsea and Manchester United.
The former were known to have expressed a keen interest in January, with Frank Lampard a fan of Dembele’s profile.
As outlined above, however, the Blues now appear to have fallen firmly behind in the race for Lyon’s star attacker.
This comes amid claims that Manchester United have ‘stepped up’ their pursuit of Dembele.
As per Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star, the Red Devils ‘have been tracking the France U21 international for 12 months and view him as the long-term replacement for Romelu Lukaku.’
It is added that United had scouts in attendance to watch Dembele in action on a number of occasions this season, with the 23-year-old himself favouring a move to Old Trafford over Stamford Bridge.
As such, Ed Woodward and co. are now said to be ‘increasingly confident’ of striking a summer deal with Lyon.
— Daily Star Sport (@DailyStar_Sport) May 11, 2020