Here we go again seemingly.
After the utterly contemptuous way Ousmane Dembele and his agent treated the club in January, we are on the cusp of the next transfer window and the Frenchman is playing roulette once more.
At present, Dembele looks to be flitting between a reunion with Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, the chance of playing alongside Kylian Mbappe at PSG or a fall-back option of staying at Barca.
Since when did the greatest club in the world allow themselves to be held to ransom in such a manner?!
I really had hoped that after a solid second half of the 2021/22 season, Dembele would be crystal clear in his mind that he had, belatedly, elevated himself to be one of, if not the most important player in Barca’s ranks. The game changer. The difference maker.
A player for whom everything was possible if he stayed in situ.
So it was with a heavy heart that I learned, as did all of you, of one leak after another. The drip, drip effect that has become so tiresome in the modern game.
It’s a simple enough decision. Either Dembele wants to play for Barca or he doesn’t. If money remains his priority, then usher him out of the exit door and off to Tyneside.
Either way, we can’t possibly have another transfer soap opera disrupting plans ahead of the new season. A season where, with the right acquisitions, Barca really could find themselves back on the map domestically and in Europe.
Perhaps it’s the instant gratification that the player believes he will get elsewhere which is the pull that’s stopping him from putting pen to paper on a new Barca deal.
Maybe he would rather a stint at the finished article instead of a work in process, which is a bit rich when you consider Dembele has been exactly that bar the last six months.
In hindsight, his mercenary attitude can’t really be considered a surprise. I doubt Dortmund fans have too much affection left for him after the way he left before joining Barca.
In any event, the clock is ticking once again. In little over a week’s time the transfer window opens for business and Barca will be about to begin their pre-season.
In years gone by the club got their transfers done early so there were no late squad surprises on the eve of the new season.
If Dembele wants to commit, I’ll be the first one to welcome him with open arms. If not, the sooner he goes, the better.