As soon as it was announced last week that Neymar had moved from Barcelona to PSG for the world record transfer fee, clubs around the globe all of a sudden clenched at the prospect of Barca coming in to unsettle one of their players. Rumors circulating that Ousmane Dembele of Borussia Dortmund and Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool were the Catalan’s main targets to replace the Brazilian captain.
A week on and Barcelona still have no replacement. Rumor has it that a €100m bid for the 20-year-old French international was rejected by Dortmund. As a result of this BVB manager Peter Bosz announced on Thursday that “Dembele didn’t show up to training today and the club didn’t know his whereabouts.”
Is this coincidence, or is the young man in question trying to make a statement and force a move to the Catalan giants? As soon as this statement reached the internet, it went crazy. Speculation flew around that he was having a medical at Barca or he is refusing to train or play for Dortmund until the transfer goes through.
Later in the day, the club’s sporting director Michael Zorc released the following statement, “Ousmane Dembélé missed training without notifying the club and has clearly taken this action consciously. We will obviously sanction him for this. We have also suspended the player until after the cup game at the weekend.”
So Dortmund are taking this very seriously and are disciplining Dembele for a breach of club policy. In this day and age, I think that is a very refreshing thing to do considering the amount of power the players have these days. The club also announced that he was still in Dortmund, so that rubbished the reports that he was in Paris visiting friends, or on a plane heading to Barcelona.
In my opinion, I can’t see Barcelona coming back with a counter offer higher than the previously rejected €100m. they have already made things clear for a very long while that Coutinho is a main target for them. I can see Coutinho being the man that moves to Spain rather than Dembele as he has four years remaining on his contract with BVB. I can honestly see him fulfilling another year minimum before he moves on or Dortmund win the Bundesliga or even the Champions League, whichever comes first.
With all the rumours at the start of the window that Aubameyang was leaving to China for a gastronomical fee, could you imagine if both had gone this summer? Dortmund would be sitting on a war chest of money but desperate for two big match impact players, something that doesn’t come cheap.
Dortmund will be hoping that a deal for Coutinho will be completed quickly, so Dembele can put his focus back into training and playing for Dortmund. Dembele continued the Supercup in the same way he finished last season, dynamic, direct and putting the fear of God into opposing defenders, something that Dortmund will be hoping continues. BVB will be counting down the days until the transfer window shuts, praying that Dembele will still be one of the prize assets.