Manchester City are reportedly set to go head-to-head with Barcelona to sign Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.
French publication Le 10 Sport have reported that Ousmane Dembele is the subject of interest of Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola meeting the Frenchman on Monday. Barcelona are also eager to land the Borussia Dortmund forward in the summer transfer window.
Dembele progressed through the ranks at Rennes before making his first-team debut in 2015 at the nascent age of 18. A fruitful maiden campaign at Roazhon Park saw the player being widely regarded as one of the most exciting young prospects in Europe, which saw him attract interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Dembele subsequently moved to Borussia Dortmund last summer, where he quickly established himself in Thomas Tuchel’s first-team plans. And his debut season at the Signal Iduna Park was a highly productive one.
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The 20-year-old’s playmaking abilities, in particular, came to the fore in the recently concluded season, as he provided a whopping 21 assists in 49 appearances across all competitions, in addition to scoring 10 goals as well. In addition to that, Dembele has also become a full-fledged member of the French national squad.
Meanwhile, the interest in the player has skyrocketed following such a fruitful campaign with Dortmund, and the youngster is now one of the hottest properties in Europe. In fact, the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Real Madrid have all been linked with Dembele.
However, Barcelona and Manchester City are now believed to be leading the race to sign him, should the France international choose to move away from Dortmund in the summer. Barcelona are, in fact, long-time admirers of Dembele’s talents and were in the running to sign the player last summer before he opted for Dortmund instead.
The Catalan club, though, are back in the market for the youngster, with Ernesto Valverde keen to make attacking reinforcements for his squad. The newly-appointed Barcelona manager is expected to change systems at Camp Nou following which there will be a need for a right sided attacking player.
With Paco Alcacer and Arda Turan failing to make a mark, Dembele is being eyed as a player who could transform Barcelona’s attack, with Lionel Messi believed to be a huge fan of the player as well. However, the Blaugrana face stiff competition for the Dortmund attacker, with Manchester City interested in him as well.
At the Etihad Stadium, Pep Guardiola has a wealth of attacking options at his disposal, with Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and the newly-recruited Bernardo Silva to choose from.
Dembele’s addition will add a lot of creative firepower to Guardiola’s squad, although the interest in him does come as a surprise as the City boss has several options for the job already. Despite that though, Guardiola is believed to have met with Dembele on Monday, possibly to discuss a summer move.
Barcelona have, meanwhile, officially approached Dortmund over a possible summer move. But, it remains to be seen if Dembele moves away from the Signal Iduna Park after just one season, or if he continues as a regular with the Bundesliga outfit beyond the summer.