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Rumour Mongering: Ousmane Dembélé Rejects Liverpool Transfer

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We’re skeptical, but at least one report has Liverpool and Barcelona ready to do a deal—and the player blocking it.

FC Barcelona v Levante - Liga Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

The financial uncertainty caused by coronavirus means many are expecting an unusually quiet transfer window this offseason, but that same uncertainty could mean a few bargains are to be had if there are any clubs desperate to offload big contracts.

On that front, rumour has it Barcelona are in a spot of trouble—and that Liverpool may have agreed a deal to loan 23-year-old Ousmane Dembélé for a year along with securing a purchase option for as little as £40M as Barca scramble to offload wages.

There’s just one problem: Dembélé wants to stay in Catalonia and prove his worth. So says Gianluca Di Marzio, at least, claiming the Reds submitted an offer to Barcelona and that they were at least open to negotiating only for the player to say he isn’t moving.

To be perfectly honest, we’re a touch skeptical given Liverpool’s approach to transfer dealings in recent seasons, where the club doesn’t actually move for a player unless they’re sure that player is 100% committed to joining Jürgen Klopp’s Anfield experience.

For the Reds to all but agree a transfer with Barcelona only for Dembele to block it, then, really doesn’t sound like the Liverpool approach to transfers we’ve grown used to—an approach on display concerning consensus top target Timo Werner.

In Werner’s case, Klopp is said to have been in regular contact and some have gone as far as to say a framework for his contract is already in place, with the only stumbling block being figuring out the transfer fee and structure in a time of coronavirus.

Still, if Barcelona really are so desperate to get his wages off the books that they’re willing to let Dembélé go for £40M after a year on loan, Liverpool might want to get down to work on convincing him that his future lies away from the Camp Nou.