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Barcelona: Ousmane Dembele to stay at Barcelona

Barcelona: Ousmane Dembele to stay at Barcelona

Ousmane Dembele’s agent, Moussa Sissoko, has confirmed that his client will ‘100% remain at Barcelona’, despite reports linking him to a move Paris Saint-Germain, to TF1 via Get French Football News on Twitter.

The 22-year-old, who joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, had been rumoured to be heading to the French capital as part of a deal that would see Neymar move in the opposite direction.

However, those rumours have now been quashed by the player’s agent, with it now a certainty that he will remain at the Camp Nou and fight for a place in Ernesto Valverde’s starting XI.

The France international played 90 minutes for the Catalans in their opening day defeat to Athletic Bilbao, but missed the proceeding Betis victory with a hamstring injury. Further tests carried out confirmed that he will now miss up to five weeks worth of action with the untimely knock.

After struggling to make an impact in Catalonia since his £135m move from Dortmund two years ago, there has been plenty of speculation surrounding Dembele’s future in Spain. Despite winning two league titles in his two years as a Barca player, his professionalism has been questioned by club directors.

Still, the World Cup-winner did average the most dribbles (2.3) per game than anyone in the club’s squad last season other than Lionel Messi, so has certainly shown he has at least the raw tools to make a positive impact.

Barcelona are seemingly desperate to resign Neymar from PSG but cannot afford to pay the €170m asking price set by the Parisians, which therefore led to the inclusion of Dembele, plus cash, in any potential struck between the two clubs.

Indeed, the player himself actually said to French journalist Pierre Menes (via Instagram) that he is “not leaving” Barcelona and that “80% of what has been said by the Spanish press is fake”.

Dembele can be an important player for Barcelona this season when he returns to fitness, when looking at the aforementioned statistic. Boasting a huge amount of raw pace, the former Rennes ace does give something different to the club’s attack. The 22-year-old has failed to hit the heights expected of him so far, but if the Catalans do fail in their quest to sign Neymar from PSG, it will leave the Spaniards with few options out wide.

Summer signing Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi will likely line up either side of Luis Suarez in Ernesto Valverde’s preferred starting XI, but with Messi turning 32 this year and struggling with injury, Dembele could see plenty of opportunity at the Nou Camp this term if he can stay fit himself.

Should Dembele really be sacrificed for Neymar? Join the discussion by commenting below… 

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