Barcelona are probably wondering just what happened to them this summer after Ernesto Valverde’s start to life as the new manager started in the strangest way imaginable.
The Catalan side is used to getting who they want, and nobody can be blamed for being lured by the Spanish giants as they have a massive worldwide appeal and that’s shown by the quality on the pitch.
However, there was understandable shock throughout the football world when Paris Saint-Germain activated the staggering €222 million release clause to leave a massive gap to fill alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
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The Blaugrana have endured a tough chase of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, as the Anfield side are simply refusing to negotiate and have already turned down three massive bids for the Brazil international – but Barca could still come back with a fourth bid, despite giving Jurgen Klopp’s side a deadline.
While Jean Michael Seri has emerged as a serious target over the weekend, Ousmane Dembele is someone who seems to have made it his mission to push through a move to Camp Nou.
Again, it won’t be easy, though, as Borussia Dortmund are also holding out for around €130 million as clubs now know how much Barcelona have to spend after receiving a high fee for Neymar.
While the Bundesliga side have admitted that they’ll sell the want-away 20-year-old winger if their valuation is matched, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has accused Barca of manipulating the France international in a bid to force the German club to sell.
Dembele was suspended indefinitely one week ago after he boycotted training, while an initial bid was also turned down for the former Rennes star.
Watzke certainly doesn’t sound impressed, accusing Valverde’s side of influencing Dembele to force Dortmund’s hand.
Speaking to Sky, Watzke said: “You have to talk about the role of the ‘glorious’ club Barcelona.
“We met with their representatives, which commanded the respect, which I still had back then a few weeks ago, of such a big and serious club.
“In doing so, we found out that our ideas [over the price] are very far apart and therefore such a big gap could not be crossed.
“Then completely out of the blue, he didn’t come to training.
“Do you honestly believe that a 20-year-old, without the benevolence of a new club, says ‘I’m not coming to training’.
“Ousmane wouldn’t have done that for any other club in the world – we know that now.”
While admitting that Dembele is actually a nice guy, he revealed that he’s simply refusing to work and now has two possibilities.
Either Barca pay up Dortmund’s valuation to purchase him, or Dembele will remain a Dortmund player but will have to apologise to the side with his teammates not happy about his actions.
Where will Ousmane Dembele be playing his football next season? Have YOUR say I the comments section below.
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