Barcelona are unlikely to accept a reported Arsenal loan offer with an obligation to buy next year, but could yet still sell Ousmane Dembele on a permanent basis this summer.
ESPN in Spain report that officially Barcelona plan to ignore any late bids for the young forward. However, sources close to the club don’t deny that if a sufficient offer came in, Barcelona would consider authorising the sale.
Mundo Deportivo reported on Tuesday that Arsenal were planning an €100m loan deal, where €10m is paid up front as a loan fee, and €90m deferred to next year as an option to buy. ESPN claim this wouldn’t work for the La Liga side, but an €100m (£89.9m) offer for a permanent transfer would be “much more feasible”.
Almost £90m is way over Arsenal’s reported budget for the entire summer, let alone what they still have left after bringing in five players. There’s always a chance the club might consider drawing on funds saved for emergencies in an exceptional case like Dembele’s, but they’d really have to be convinced it was worth the investment.
Considering how difficult Arsenal are finding it to offload any of the fringe members of the squad, it seems doubtful the board would be willing to take that risk. There are too many players filling space on the wage bill right now.