Dortmund reject reported €100m Barcelona bid for Ousmane Dembele and suspend player for skipping training
Borussia Dortmund have rejected a bid from Barcelona for wantaway forward Ousmane Dembele as it emerged the youngster has been fined and suspended by his club for missing training.
The Frenchman is one of Barcelona's primary targets, alongside Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, following the world record sale of Neymar to PSG last week.
The Bundesliga club confirmed on Thursday they had received an undisclosed bid - understood to be €100m - from the La Liga giants but that it fell some way below their asking price. They say a deal remains unlikely.
"Borussia Dortmund has held talks with FC Barcelona regarding the possible transfer of the BVB player Ousmane Dembélé to FC Barcelona," the statement read.
"During this meeting, the representatives of FC Barcelona submitted a bid which did not correspond to the player's extraordinary footballing and other abilities nor to the present economic market situation of the European transfer market. BVB therefore rejected this offer.
"As there is no other offer from FC Barcelona to date, there is currently no transfer of the player to FC Barcelona and this is not currently likely."
Dortmund are believed to be holding out for a fee in the region of €150m (£135m).
Dembele appears keen to push a deal through, however, and although he was present for the team's official photo on Wednesday, manager Peter Bosz confirmed he skipped a training session on Thursday morning.
“He wasn’t there this morning and if I am completely honest I have to say that I have no idea why he wasn’t,” said Bosz.
“We have tried to reach him but we have not managed to. I hope that nothing bad has happened to him. He wasn’t there."
Dortmund later confirmed that the player would be given a fine and be suspended for their DfB Pokal cup match against non-league Rielasingen this weekend.
"Ousmane Dembélé missed training today without notifying the club and has clearly taken this action consciously. We will obviously sanction him for this," sporting director Michael Zorc said.
"We have also suspended the player until after the cup game at the weekend."
The rejected bid represents another blow to Barcelona's pre-season.
The club have so far seen their pursuits of Dembele, Coutinho and PSG midfielder Marco Verratti thwarted while losing one of its prized assets in the shape of Neymar.
(© Independent News Service)
Independent News Service