According to British media reports, Manchester United and Barcelona once reached a loan agreement with Dembele, but it fell through because the player himself refused to renew his contract with Barcelona.
"Daily Mail" stated that after the failed introduction of Sancho, Manchester United turned its attention to Dembele, but the Red Devils only wanted to rent. After negotiations, Manchester United and Barcelona reached a lease agreement, the Red Devils agreed to pay a lease fee and bear Dembele's salary.
However, this loan deal fell through at the last minute because Barcelona asked Dembele to renew his contract with the club until 2023 before leaving the team on loan. They were worried that once Dembele played an excellent season at Manchester United, he would return to Camp Nou. With only one year left in the contract, Barcelona will be passive. Dembele rejected this request, and the lease transaction fell through.