Barcelona respond to Ousmane Dembele Arsenal transfer speculation

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Ernesto Valverde insists Ousmane Dembele remains a key component of his Barcelona squad, despite the signing of Malcom. Dembele was recruited by the Liga champions for £135.5 million last summer following the departure of Neymar but after a mixed first season at Camp Nou, the 21-year-old has been linked with a move away.

Unai Emery is reportedly in the market for a fast, direct winger and Dembele is one of the players on Arsenal’s shortlist. Reports in Spain have also suggested that Dembele is open to leaving Barca following the club’s decision to sign Brazilian winger Malcom earlier this week but Valverde is adamant the former Rennes star will get a chance to impress this season.

‘Let’s hope it’s his season,’ said Valverde. ‘He is an extraordinary player. The past year has been complicated because of the injuries, but even so he has brought us a lot . ‘The important thing is that there is competition within the team. There are a lot of matches and we can not handle them with only eleven players.’ Dembele, who played a bit-part role in France’s success at the World Cup, was previously signed by Borussia Dortmund on the recommendation of Arsenal’s new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and sent Gunners’ fans into a frenzy with his social media activity.





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