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Man Utd, Chelsea suffer transfer blow as French club rule out striker sale

Manchester United and Chelsea were dealt a transfer blow as the Lyon president ruled out selling Moussa Dembele this month.

The French striker, 23, has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League as two of the division’s biggest clubs look to bolster their attacks.

But now they may well have to look elsewhere because it is understood Dembele in not available in January.

Jean Michel Aulas told RMC Sport: “We have not changed our mind on Dembele.

“Moussa is an excellent player. He’s a player we need. It is not a question of money.

“Moussa will be with us until the end of the season.”

Chelsea saw their £34million bid rejected earlier in the window and also considered offering Olivier Giroud as part of a deal to lure Dembele back to West London.

At the age of 16, he joined Fulham from Paris Saint-Germain in 2012 and made 64 appearances for the Cottagers, netting 19 times, before signing for Celtic in 2016.

After 51 goals in 94 Celtic games, Dembele returned to his homeland in 2018 but his 11 goals in 19 Ligue 1 matches this season have attracted plenty of attention.

Manchester United were also thought to be keen on making a move to land the striker, sending scouts to watch him score the winner for Lyon against Bordeaux.

Reports also suggested that Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri was plotting to try and hijack any potential transfer by making a late swoop.

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Lyon manager Rudi Garcia is currently without Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adelaide due to injury and is therefore desperate not to lose another of his attacking stars.

It means Chelsea and United will have to go for other targets if they want to bring in a striker this month.

Timo Werner has been linked but is also set to stay with RB Leipzig until the end of the season.

But Edinson Cavani could be an option after falling behind Mauro Icardi in the PSG pecking order.

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