Ousmane Dembele back in Barcelona squad to face Man United, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Ousmane Dembele back in Barcelona squad to face Man United

French attacker Ousmane Dembele is close to shaking off a thigh strain and was named in Ernesto Valverde's Barcelona squad for the Champions League quarter-final, first leg against Manchester United on Thursday morning (Singapore time).

The World Cup winner, 21, has excelled on both flanks this season after a slow bedding-in process at Barcelona, but has been on the sidelines since March 16 with a thigh muscle problem.

Valverde said he had chosen the still-struggling winger in his squad for the game because he needed all hands on deck.

"Dembele is on the list despite not yet being fully fit," said Valverde, who added that the Frenchman had taken part in full training yesterday.

Dembele, who scored in Barcelona's 5-1 victory over Lyon in his last Champions League outing, had originally been expected to miss four weeks, reported AFP.

The former Borussia Dortmund and Rennes man missed the 2-0 win at Atletico Madrid on Saturday as Barca target a La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League Treble they achieved in both 2009 and 2015.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and assistant Mike Phelan were at the match, which Barcelona won through goals by Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Even without Dembele, the Catalan side would seem too strong for Solskjaer's side.

Several pundits believe the Red Devils will progress no further in Europe, including Alan Shearer.

The former England captain and Newcastle United striker wrote in his column for The Sun: "You cannot write off Manchester United after the way they fought back to beat Paris Saint-Germain.

"But I just think Barcelona will have too much for them over two games - mainly because of that guy Lionel Messi...

"United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserve this crack against Barca because of what they did in Paris.

"But I just think it will be a step too far for them."