Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has seemingly ruled out the possibility of Ousmane Dembele leaving the club this summer, amid rumours of a possible Arsenal loan move.

In recent weeks, the media have linked Dembele to an Arsenal transfer of some kind over and over. As recently as the last few days, reports in Spain suggested Sven Mislintat was in constant contact with the winger.

Bartomeu insists the player isn’t going anywhere though, highlighting the amount the club have invested in him and the importance of Dembele having a strong second season in Spain.

“[Philippe] Coutinho, [Ousmane] Dembele are for us a big investment,” he told the Associated Press. “They are very important players and we expect a lot from them. But Dembele is a very young player, a very talented player that we are, of course, expecting a lot from.

“He’s been demonstrating during the season that he’s a good young player for us. But, of course, next season will be different.

“It’s not easy to play in Barcelona the first year because the model of football is quite different from the rest. But after one year I’m sure we are going to see Dembele and Coutinho at a very high level.”

I can’t see why Barcelona would want to let the forward go anyway, even on a loan deal. He’s in top form at the moment, scoring and hitting the crossbar after an impressive run against Italy this week.

He also scored three and assisted five in his final 10 league games for Barcelona this season. The 21-year-old’s main problem in 2017/18 was a couple of injuries, so as long as he can stay fit he should have a much better second season.

Much as I’d love to see Dembele at Arsenal, Barcelona would be mad to let him go. I hope they do anyway, of course, but it doesn’t seem very likely now.