Man Utd ‘in secret talks’ with Dembele over Ronaldo replacement

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Manchester United are reportedly locked in 'secret talks' with Lyon star Moussa Dembele as they plot for life without Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo dropped a major bombshell on new United chief Erik ten Hag when he revealed he would like to quit the club if a suitable offer arrives for his services this summer. The 37-year-old was United's top scorer last season with 24 goals in all competitions, but is desperate to play Champions League football in the twilight years of his illustrious career.

And according to a new report from Media Foot, United have wasted no time in sounding out Dembele in the wake of Ronaldo's transfer request.

READ MORE: Ex-Man Utd ace in talks to join rivals Leeds after contract expired at Old Trafford

The report claims that United have been in secret discussions over a deal for the 25-year-old, who was back to his best last year. The Frenchman netted 22 goals in 35 games for Lyon last term and is once again attracting interest from some of Europe's big guns.

Despite Dembele's return to form, Lyon are open to 'listening to opportunities' for the ex-Fulham man as he has just one year remaining on his current deal. That could mean that Dembele is available for a knockdown price this summer – something that would appeal to United, who have a limited transfer budget this summer.

It is believed that United would be in a strong position if they do table an offer for Dembele, with any deal tipped to have a 'strong chance of going all the way'.

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If Ronaldo does get his wish this summer, the report claims that United will seek to fill the void of the Portuguese megastar with 'one or two arrivals'.

United have previously been linked with Ajax's versatile attacker Antony, who played an integral role for the Dutch giants under Ten Hag last year. The 22-year-old bagged 12 goals and 10 assists in all competitions – but Ajax are determined to hang on to the sought-after forward.

Ten Hag also holds an interest in Brian Brobbey; another player he has worked with before. The Dutch striker came through the ranks under Ten Hag before he was lured away from Ajax by RB Leipzig. But Brobbey returned to Amsterdam to work under Ten Hag for the final six months of last season after a miserable stint in Germany.

Ajax are keen to strike a deal with Leipzig to bring Brobbey back to Holland on a permanent basis – but Ten Hag has designs on hijacking a deal which could reportedly cost United as little as £12.6m.

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