Manchester United sent scouts to watch Moussa Dembele play for Lyon on Sunday night, but they were disappointed when he played for little more than half an hour.
Dembele has scored six goals in eight Ligue 1 appearances so far this season at an average of a goal for every 102 minutes on the pitch. His previous seven games were all as a starter but he had to make do with an appearance off the bench on Sunday as Lyon went down 1-0 to St Etienne.
Lyon coach Sylvinho is rotating Dembele with former United player Memphis Depay who has scored four goals in his eight Ligue 1 games (also seven starts and one substitute appearance).
Dembele came on as a 59th-minute substitute on Sunday and got Lyon’s only shot on target. But his failure to nail down a regular starting spot could lead to a January bid from United.
The Red Devils have faltered in front of goal this season with just nine goals in eight games following Sunday’s 1-0 defeat by Newcastle United at St James’s Park. That means their last seven matches have yielded just five goals.
Dembele might be open to a move to Old Trafford. He was linked with Manchester United when he was with both Fulham and Celtic. Lyon, however, might want to wait until the summer before letting him go.
One player United are no longer being linked with is Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek. It has emerged that the Premier League side were quoted £35 million for the 22-year-old but decided against meeting that valuation.
Real Madrid are also being linked with interest in the Netherlands international. Van de Beek is valued by some outlets at £100 million. He was part of the Ajax side beaten by United in the 2017 Europa League Final.