Manchester City have struck the first blow in summer transfer arms race with Liverpool, paying a club record £62.9m to sign the hugely promising Rodri from Altetico Madrid and addressing an important need in their squad. The Reds, mooted as the sole challengers to the champions in the upcoming Premier League campaign and fresh off of a 97-point, Champions League-winning season, are not in need of major surgery themselves and have instead mostly been linked to a host of rotational attacking pieces.
The most high profile of the names swirling around the club has been Barcelona winger, Ousmane Dembele. While the likes of Lille’s Nicolas Pépé, Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes and RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner have taken turns cycling their way through the Liverpool section of the transfer rumor mill, it is the mercurial Dembele who has turned the most heads—and who the mongers of rumors believe will be the one to sign for the Reds.
A precocious talent—both on and off the pitch—opinion of 22-year-old’s time at the Camp Nou has oscillated back and forth between adoration and frustration, with a combination of untimely injuries, world class goals and dressing room turmoil dividing opinion in the Barcelona boardroom.
Signed from Jürgen Klopp’s old club Borussia Dortmund for an initial fee of £93m potentially rising to £136m, the bookies appear to believe that the Blaugrana are open to offloading the French international as the seek to make room on the books for PSG’s Neymar and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann. Odds on Dembele to Liverpool have been slashed from 20/1 to 6/1 on the belief that Klopp’s long-term admiration of the silky forward will bridge the gap between a weighty asking price and LFC’s reduced appetite to spend following a string of big-spending transfer windows.
Oddschecker spokesperson Callum Wilson, as bookies are wont, equivocated on the speculation: “After spurning a golden opportunity to put his side even further ahead in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Liverpool, Barca fans might not be too fussed about seeing the back of Dembele.
“He’s still classed as one of Europe’s biggest young talents, but with relatively little game time to his name at the top level this would be a risky move for the inevitably hefty fee he’d command.”
Of course, 6/1 is no sure thing and the oddmaker transfer intel is not terribly far removed from the gossip pages’ own sources. Meaning that this rumor can be filed under Would Be Nice But Probably Not Going To Happen—But Really Would Be Nice, and that you, dear reader, have come out the other end of this article with a teeny bit more information than you did going in.