Ousmane Dembele is keen to leave Barcelona this winter (Picture: Getty)Barcelona misfit Ousmane Dembele has reportedly told the club that he wants to leave in January amid strong interest from Arsenal and Liverpool.
Dembele’s behavioral problems have become a major issue at Barcelona and the Catalan giants are preparing to cash in this winter after running out of patience with the 21-year-old forward.
The France international, who was part of Didier Deschamps’ triumphant squad in the summer, regularly turns up late for training and Barca fear he has developed a gaming addiction.
Arsenal were heavily linked with Dembele ahead of the 2018/19 and have once again asked about the attacker’s potential availability. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has also sanctioned an £85million bid for the Frenchman in the January transfer window.
According to Goal, Dembele has now informed Barca officials that he’s intent on leaving this winter and the La Liga outfit are open to selling the former Borussia Dortmund man to fund an audacious move for Neymar.
Barca sold Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record fee of €222m in August 2017 but are seriously exploring the possibility of a return for the Brazilian superstar.
Dembele scored a last-gasp equaliser against Atletico Madrid this weekend (Picture: Getty)Amid the speculation surrounding Dembele, Luis Suarez urged the forward to knuckle down and take inspiration from the ‘exemplary’ behaviour of his team-mates at Barcelona.
‘I think being a footballer is a privilege,’ the Uruguayan said last week.
‘I think he should focus on football, and take inspiration from the exemplary professionals in the Barcelona dressing room.’
Barcelona are ready to cash in on Dembele (Picture: Getty)Dembele’s agent, Moussa Sissoko, laughed off rumours that the Frenchman had been dropped for Barcelona’s clash with Real Betis for breaching team rules.
‘All these criticisms make me laugh. It had already begun with a so-called delay at the meeting before the Champions League match against Inter,’ he told RMC Sport.
‘I am surprised very serious newspapers can report this information because Ousmane didn’t arrive late. His coach has confirmed the fact he was not in the starting XI was not due to a delay.’
Dembele has struggled for minutes under Ernesto Valverde (Picture: Getty)Sissoko insisted that Dembele really was ill and rubbished speculation that the youngster could be set for a January move.
‘It is true that Ousmane was sick [before Betis],’ Sissoko added.
‘He had not slept all night, he was very tired. He missed the morning training and what the club has blamed us for is that he did not provide notification so a doctor can come to assess him.
‘He did that late. But he was sick, the club confirmed he had a (gastrointestinal illness), he missed training because of that. I’m surprised we can make controversy when he is sick.
‘Ousmane continues to work. He is in a big club, he is in the national team and Didier Deschamps continues to call him. He is very much demanding of the players’ behavior and their performances, so if Ousmane is today in the French team, he deserves it.
‘I also had Eric Abidal [Barcelona sporting director] on the phone and he is very happy with Ousmane, he told me he was training very well. He does not question him at all right now.’
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