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Arsenal are reportedly keeping an eye on Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele ahead of a potential swoop for the World Cup winner. It comes as the player is linked with an exit from Camp Nou over concerns about his attitude.
Dembele joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 in a deal potentially rising to €145m, making him one of the most expensive players in history. But he has struggled to justify the price and has been in and out of the team this season after an injury plagued debut year.
Gossip originating from Mundo Deportivo, via Sport Witness, has it that Arsenal are not ‘losing sight’ of the 21-year-old, pointing to the fact that Gunners head of recruitment Sven Mislintat oversaw the French international’s transfer to Dortmund in 2016.
Liverpool, on the other hand, apparently have lost sight. The Reds had also been linked with a move for Dembele, but a report from the Daily Mirror now claims that the Anfield club has ‘no interest’ in pursuing the player when the transfer window opens in January.
Dembele’s recent behaviour at Barcelona is said to have been cause for concern for the club, with separate stories from both Marcaand Mundo Deportivo sharing details of a meeting between Camp Nou president Josep Maria Bartemou and Dembele’s agent, Moussa Sissoko.
Bartomeu is said to have been accompanied by vice president Jordi Mestre, general manager Pep Segura and technical secretary Eric Abidal.
It is said that the Barcelona officials shared their concerns with Sissoko during the hour-long meeting. It is suggested while those at Camp Nou recognised Dembele’s immense talent he is seen as ‘not very focused’. The club wants him to adopt a more professional attitude, which includes turning up to training on time and paying more attention to his diet.
It is also suggested Dembele has struggled to integrate because he speaks very little Spanish.
One apparent suggestion from the club is that it might benefit Dembele to have someone close to him based in Barcelona. His agent, for example, is based in London, while his mother is also not in Catalonia and he appears to lack the structure and support network vital for any footballer.