Ousmane Dembele has had a frustrating time since moving to Barcelona, with the player’s hefty transfer fee and arrival as the man to replace the departed Neymar perhaps always meaning that expectations for him would be too high to realistically meet.
In the 18 months since his move there have been questions about performances, supposed falling outs with the manager, and ultimatums from upper management. He has been fined. He has been a healthy scratch. And, for most of 2018, there have been rumours.
Rumours that if Barcelona could find a club willing to cover their £100M-plus transfer fee, that the La Liga giants would be more than happy to sell him on. So far, there’s been no sign that, talented as Dembele is, any club is actually willing to consider doing that.
This week, though, there have been rumblings out of Spain that Barcelona are increasingly confident at least one club might. And that club is Liverpool. Or at least that’s the story as it’s being peddled by today’s Mirror, though for their part they say it’s not entirely true.
Despite Barcelona’s confidence, they claim Liverpool aren’t ready to hand over £100M in exchange for Dembele—that Jürgen Klopp has liked, as continues to like, the player but that he doesn’t £100M like him. Liverpool, though, are painted as his most likely destination.
All of which could be true or it could all be fabricated, whether by The Mirror or the Spanish press it doesn’t really matter. What we know is that Dembele’s time at Barcelona hasn’t gone to plan. And we know Liverpool and Klopp previously tried to sign the 21-year-old.
It’s hardly a stretch to put two and two together and get Liverpool as his most likely landing spot should his time at Barcelona end as badly as it currently seems destined to. It’s also hardly a stretch to say Liverpool won’t pay £100M even if they rate Dembele.
Which means that whether there’s any truth to this sort of rumour, we’re going to keep hearing them until Dembele gets sold on—or until he does enough to change the narrative around him at Barcelona from expensive failure to genuine superstar.