Borussia Dortmund CEO rules out Dembele sale
Barcelona have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Dembele, a top transfer target, after Borussia Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke confirmed that the winger will stay at the club.
Ousmane Dembele was believed to be Barcelona's top transfer target to replace Neymar, who left for PSG in a stunning €222 million deal. The young Frenchman himself played up those rumours recently in an interview with Spanish news outlet Gol, in which he said: "It is a pleasure to be able to see your name on the list of players who Barcelona want, all players would like to play at a club like that. We'll be calm and see what happens."
However, Barcelona have been dealt a heavy blow after Borussia Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke ruled out a move entirely for their young star and cited the importance of keeping talented players instead of being a "selling club".
Speaking to Eurosport in the pre-match coverage of the DFL-Supercup, where Bayern Munich beat Dortmund 5-4 on penalties after the match ended 2-2, Watze responded to questions about Dembele by saying: "I think we've made clear that he will stay with us. When we said that, the media wrote that he'll leave in January. No, he will definitely stay."
He also talked about how Wolfsburg's decision to sell Kevin De Bruyne, who joined Manchester City for £54.5m two years ago, had affected them long term: "I remember Kevin de Bruyne, he was the Bundesliga's record transfer. When you see the years after, it was not the best transfer though as the team lost lots of quality."
Barcelona will likely now focus their attention on Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, Juventus' Paulo Dybala or PSG's Angel Di Maria.