While Manchester United has not been daunted in its pursuit of Jadon Sancho, the club has begun to look for alternatives as Borussia Dortmund remains insistent in its valuation of the England winger and sporting director Michael Zorc said on Monday that Sancho would be staying with the club next season.
Among the other options, ESPN's James Olley reports, is Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele.
Dembele, 23, appeared in only nine matches last season and hasn't played since November and underwent surgery on his hamstring in February.
The France winger's time spent at Camp Nou since his £97 million move from Dortmund in 2017 has been blighted by injury and Barcelona would be amenable to selling Dembele with two years remaining on his current deal. Olley notes that informal talks have been had between the two clubs over a season-long loan with an option to buy, but no official bid has been made.
But Barcelona's pursuit of Dembele will provide United a blueprint when it comes to Sancho. Like he did on Monday with Sancho, Zorc insisted that Dembele was a Dortmund player going forward and would not be sold.
"Ousmane Dembele has a long-term contract [until 2021] and we are making definite plans with him," Zorc said in June 2017. "There are no negotiations [with Barcelona]. Ousmane is going to be playing for Dortmund in the coming season."
Two months later, Dembele was sold to Barcelona.
While United appears to be undeterred when it comes to Sancho, Juventus's Brazil winger Douglas Costa and Bayern Munich's France international Kingsley Coman could also be lined up as alternatives.