Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembélé has agreed terms with Barcelona ahead of a £90m move, according to reports.
The 20-year-old forward has been linked with Arsenal this week, and is one of the most highly sought after young players in Europe along with his compatriot Kylian Mbappé. As a result of PSG’s mega money move for Neymar, however, Barcelona are now in a position where they’re willing to spend big for the player, according to Metro.
Neymar’s buyout clause was activated for £200m, so Barcelona certainly aren’t short of cash. Although it’s also true that other clubs will expect more money from the Catalan club since everyone knows about the magnitude of that deal.
In a 2016 interview, Dembélé stated that his dream was to play for Barcelona, and Barcelona will be looking for a signing that shows their intent, so this move makes sense for both of them. None of this is particularly good news for Arsenal, if the Gunners really are interested in the player.
The other players Arsenal have been most strongly linked to over the summer are Kylian Mbappé and Thomas Lemar, two other French U21s who have shown enough quality to make it into the senior national side.
Arsène is seemingly keen to link up with another young French prospect before he leaves the club, but the odds on a move aren’t looking good given the players have been branded with such high valuations.
Even when Arsenal broke the club’s record transfer fee this summer, the Lyon CEO Jean-Michel Aulas highlighted that they weren’t breaking it by much. The rumours going around that Arsenal were paying up to £65m for Lacazette were dashed by Aulas, who said: “The first offer made by Arsenal was £39.5m. The deal will happen for something between that and £43.8m. To be close to €50m is something unique, and will be a record for Arsenal and a record for Lyon.
“One must also take into account that traditionally, a club like Arsenal do not have the habit of spending so much for one player.” (Quotes via Daily Mail)
That last quote is particularly relevant here. The question remains that if Arsenal are interested in a player such as Dembélé, will they be willing to pay upwards of £70-80m for him?
If not, then they won’t be able to compete with a club like Barcelona.