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BARCELONA coach Ernesto Valverde confirmed the club will discipline Ousmane Dembele after the player arrived two hours late to training.
The 21-year-old has been subject of transfer speculation with several Premier League clubs, with Arsenal and Liverpool showing interest in the player.
On Saturday Barcelona beat Espanyol 4-0 away in La Liga, but the result was overshadowed by reports of Dembele missing the beginning of training.
It is not the first time the Frenchman’s professionalism has been called into question.
As Barca prepare for their Champions League clash with Tottenham on Tuesday night, Valverde has been forced to address Dembele’s behaviour.
“It is true that a situation has occurred, one that we will resolve in-house,” he explained.
“It isn’t something new and we’ll try to face up to it in the best possible way by always helping the player, who has a lot of talent.
“The questions [the press asked] are ones of an internal nature, but he is a player who gives us a lot on the pitch, in the same way that others do.
“We’ll see what happened, but I like that we all want the same thing.
“On Saturday, we won a derby 4-0 and said ‘now we can have a calm relaxing Sunday’ and then things happen and people are only asking about Dembele.
“Such things have also happened to me, although not many times.”
With speculation rife about Dembele’s future, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has claimed the club “need” him.
“He is an excellent player, with a lot of potential and will help us a lot,” he said.
“We need Dembele.”
Arsenal head of recruitment Sven Mislintat has spoken highly of Dembele.
“I saw him, he had not even played for Stade Rennes in the first team,” he said, speaking about the time he signed the player for Borussia Dortmund.
“I bet he did not know which foot he used in certain situations because he just did not think about it.
“I felt this is a really special player.
“With one move, he changed the entire direction of the game.”
It’s not known whether Dembele will play against Spurs at the Nou Camp.
Valverde confirmed he will likely make changes from his usual starting line-up with top spot already secured in their Champions League group.
“There will certainly be changes on Tuesday because, in the end, we are aware that we are already through so we will give some players a rest,” Valverde said.