· Barca offer rejected
Ousmane Dembele has been suspended by Borussia Dortmund after skipping training, with the Bundesliga club having turned down an offer from Barcelona for the winger earlier on Thursday.
Dembele is being targeted as a replacement for Neymar, who left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain last week in a record-shattering €222million deal.
The 20-year-old missed training without permission on Thursday, with Dortmund head coach Peter Bosz telling a news conference that the club had been unable to contact Dembele.
Dortmund announced Dembele will be punished for his no-show and will be banned until after this Saturday’s DFB-Pokal clash with Rielasingen-Arlen.
Sporting director Michael Zorc explained: “Ousmane Dembele was missing from BVB training today without permission and apparently decided voluntarily to do that.
“Of course, such misbehaviour will be sanctioned.
Speculation that a move to Barcelona was imminent soon mounted before BVB issued a statement saying a bid had been lodged by the Catalan giants but it did not meet their valuation for a player they signed from Rennes for €15m last year.
The statement read: “Borussia Dortmund has held talks with the Catalan football club FC Barcelona regarding the possible transfer of the BVB player Ousmane Dembele to FC Barcelona.
“During this meeting, the representatives of FC Barcelona submitted a bid which did not match the player’s extraordinary footballing ability or value to the club, nor the present economic market situation of the European transfer market. BVB therefore rejected this offer.
“As there is no other offer from FC Barcelona to date, there is currently no transfer of the player to FC Barcelona and this is not currently likely.”