Liverpool and manager Jürgen Klopp are known admirers of talented young winger Ousmane Dembele, and with the 21-year-old French international struggling to impress following his move to Barcelona there has been regular talk of a potential Liverpool switch.
It’s been an easy story to peddle for the rumour mongers. Liverpool’s interest, at least in the past, is hardly a secret. And it’s hardly a secret that, a little more than a year into it, Dembele at Barcelona doesn’t seem to really be working out for either the club or player.
Now, rumours out of Spain have Barcelona telling Dembele to find a new club in January after showing up late for a training session—a minor but final straw, as the story goes—and it’s no surprise multiple English outlets are taking that and giving it a Liverpool twist.
Chelsea and Arsenal are, like Liverpool, said to be monitoring his situation and would be interested in moving for Dembele if he really is available, but it’s the Reds who are seen as the most serious suitors—due to their past interest and due to Klopp’s presence.
The problem, even if Barcelona is actively seeking to move him, is that €105M transfer fee they paid—plus a further €40M in potential add-ons. Barca are said to want to recoup it entirely, which will be off-putting even to the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool.
The consensus now is that Barcelona overpaid for Dembele. That they paid for potential and they paid a premium as they were clearly desperate following the departure of Neymar to PSG. And that Dembele has not done anything since joining Barcelona to justify the fee.
In the end, then, it’s likely he will remain at Barcelona. Even if the club now wishes they hadn’t signed him, and even if Dembele now wishes he’d perhaps stayed at Dortmund a little while longer. Barcelona have simply invested too much to sell him at a loss.
Dembele may eventually come good for them, or given another 18 uninspiring months they may be willing to let him leave on the cheap. For now, though, rumour mongers suggesting Liverpool might sign him seems like nothing more than spinning an easy story.