Premier League mainstays Everton reportedly rejected the chance to sign Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona on deadline day.

According to a report by Liverpool Echo, Barcelona’s desperation to get rid of Ousmane Dembele forced them to offer the Frenchman to several clubs across Europe. And Premier League mainstays Everton rejected the chance to snap up the Barcelona contract rebel, as their priority was signing midfielders.

Ousmane Dembele was supposed to help Barcelona forget about Neymar’s shock departure to Paris Saint-Germain when he arrived at Camp Nou in August 2017. But injuries, poor form, and attitude issues rendered the 24-year-old a frustrating quantity at the club, with his importance reducing with each passing season.

The 2021/22 season has been one to forget, as the French international has managed only 684 minutes of game-time across 11 outings in all competitions. On top of that, the player’s long-drawn contract negotiations ended with Barcelona pulling back the last contract offer. And the Catalan giants had been keen on offloading Dembele in the January transfer window, with Everton one of the clubs to be offered the chance to sign him.

The Toffees had a busy January transfer window, signing five players while selling former defensive mainstay Lucas Digne to Aston Villa. Rafael Benitez’s short stay at Goodison Park also ended last month, with Everton replacing the Spanish tactician with Frank Lampard before the month’s turn.

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According to the report, Dembele was also a part of deadline day talks, and the Barcelona contract rebel could have been a handy addition to an Everton offensive unit that has often flattered to deceive this season. But the Merseyside giants were prioritising signing midfielders, meaning talks never went beyond the preliminary stages.

Everton did manage to bolster the midfield unit by signing Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli from Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, respectively. But there is a feeling that their attack is still short on quality ahead of their battle to retain their Premier League status in the second half of the season.

Despite not being signed by Everton on deadline day, Dembele has no shortage of suitors, with Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, and Juventus keen on signing him. Barcelona had also been contemplating terminating the French forward’s contract, although those suggestions have been quickly put to bed.

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