Arsenal and Ousmane Dembele is a link that will not die and Sven Mislintat isn’t helping things by giving an interview about the player.

Sven Mislintat, formerly of Borussia Dortmund, has become Arsenal's new Head of Recruitment.
Sven Mislintat at Dortmund

Of course, Sven Mislintat can’t help what he’s asked by reporters but this story is certainly a strange one.

Dembele doesn’t want to leave Barcelona, Barcelona have repeatedly said they don’t want to sell him after spending so much on his signature and Arsenal aren’t supposed to have any money to spend.

Yet still this story persists and it’s about to take off again after Mislintat spoke highly of the player in a recent interview.

Speaking with Zeit, Sven Mislintat said, “I saw him before he even played one game at Stade Rennes.

“I’m guessing he did not even know which foot he used, because he did not have to think about that, I immediately felt that he was a very special player, like Shinji Kagawa was. We saw him play 10 times in Japan, but after half an hour I was convinced that no-one could keep up with him, because with one movement he could change the whole game.”

Mislintat signed Dembele for Borussia Dortmund before the player reportedly went on strike to try and force a move through to Barcelona.

 “The transfer came about thanks to signatures from officials, not by a dismissal,” Mislintat explained. “As a club, we had to take into account the wishes of our players and do not complain.

“It is true that Ousmane did not attend the training anymore, but his ability to dive into every hole was worth gold to us. Ousmane played a lot of good games for us [Dortmund] and was largely responsible for the cup win in 2017. A lot the top players come from other environments, where they have become hungry for promotions and success, and they have a special intrinsic motivation.”

Arsenal have reportedly contacted Barcelona for Ousmane Dembele and are willing to pay €90m plus €10m in add-ons in a story that is hard to believe.

France's forward Ousmane Dembele arrives in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines on November 12, 2018, as part of the team's preparation for the upcoming Nations League football match against the Netherlands and a friendly football match against Uruguay. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)
France’s forward Ousmane Dembele arrives in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines on November 12, 2018, as part of the team’s preparation for the upcoming Nations League football match against the Netherlands and a friendly football match against Uruguay. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

One of the main reasons Arsenal are said to be getting rid of Aaron Ramsey is because they have no money and need to cut their wage bill. That’s the official line that has been leaked to the press anyway. Perhaps it’s just a kinder way of saying Unai Emery doesn’t rate Ramsey, although that wouldn’t explain why he made him one of his five captains.

My point is you don’t get to have it both ways. You can’t, on the one hand, say Arsenal are too broke to give Ramsey a new contract but can find €100m to spend on Dembele.

Arsenal and Dembele have been linked long enough now to think there was some genuine interest at some point but this story seems to be mainly being pushed by Don Balon who, at least, have moved on from their Karim-Benzema-to-Arsenal obsession.

Barcelona reportedly want €100m for Dembele even though they say they don’t want to sell him, willing to take a €50m hit on a player they spent far too much on in the summer of 2017 according to the report.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0LZsFlS8UI

Other clubs who are interested, including Liverpool, PSG and Atletico, are only willing to go to €80m for the 21-year-old but free-spending Arsenal will apparently outbid them all.

Although Arsenal have spent a fair bit of stupid money lately, not to mention their insane Kylian Mbappe bid before he moved to PSG, I’d be absolutely amazed if Arsenal spend anything close to €100m on a number of players in the next window, let alone on one.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.