Silly Season is the worst, and players are constantly linked with moving away from their clubs all the time, and we mostly don’t pay attention. But there are times when the rumors might be true.
This could be one of those times, as the reliable Cadena COPE are reporting that Ousmane Dembélé is considering leaving Barcelona this summer. The 21-year-old struggled to adapt to the club and become a regular starter after dealing with multiple injuries in his debut season, and the signing of Malcom from Bordeaux could have a real impact in Dembélé’s decision to stay or leave.
The report also cites a ‘distant relationship’ between the player and coach Ernesto Valverde, which seems to confirm rumblings we’ve heard all season that the boss and the kid did not see eye to eye, with Valverde especially frustrated with Dembélé’s possible lack of discipline when recovering from injuries.
Barça signed Dembélé for €105 million last summer, and performance bonuses could push the total transfer fee to nearly €150 million. If they wanted to sell the player, Barça would no doubt look to at least break even on the money, and there are no indications that any of the clubs allegedly interested in Dembélé (Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool) would even come close to Barça’s asking price.
Another important factor to note is president Bartomeu’s multiple statements in recent weeks saying that Dembélé is not for sale at any price, as the young Frenchman is seen by the club as part of the future with Philippe Coutinho, Arthur and others. This is a very interesting storyline to follow over the next few weeks, but it’s safe to say right now that the probability of Dembélé staying is a lot higher than the other alternative.