Ousmane Dembele

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Report: Jurgen Klopp keen on signing Barcelona’s Dembele

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Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are prepared to shell out $100 million to secure the signature of Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele, according to Spanish outlet Sport.

The French winger would arrive at Anfield at a reduced price after falling short of expectations after signing for the Blaugrana in 2017 for nearly $140 million. The 22-year-old has recorded 51 appearances for the Spanish giants throughout his three-year injury-riddled spell.

Despite his recent inactivity – out since February due to surgery – Klopp is highly interested in landing the winger, who he knows from his days with Borussia Dortmund, during the summer transfer window.

Depending on when La Liga restarts following the coronavirus pandemic suspension, Dembele may return to action with Barcelona this season. The winger has five appearances and a goal to his name this season – to say that Dembele is struggling would be an understatement.

With EURO 2020 postponed until next summer and with his recovery process coming to an end, a move to Liverpool seems like a win-win situation for Dembele and Barcelona. Liverpool, on the other hand, will have to wait to see what version of Dembele pulls up at Melwood, if a transfer were to materialize.

Report: Barcelona given permission to sign emergency striker

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According to a report by Spanish tabloid Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona has been given permission by La Liga authorities to sign an emergency striker outside the January transfer window.

With Ousmane Dembele ruled out for the season after a serious hamstring tear, the Catalan club has just three healthy forwards in Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and teenage sensation Ansu Fati. Luis Suarez was ruled long-term after knee surgery in mid-January.

The situation is not all that uncommon as far as La Liga is concerned, as the league often authorizes clubs to sign emergency players given injuries of longer than five months and low roster availability. There are certain restrictions that come with any potential signing, such as the player must be a forward. Any potential signing will only be eligible for league competition, and the player can only come from another La Liga side or be a free agent. The club has 15 days to complete a potential signing, while any club it raids would theb be given a window to sign its own replacement.

Barcelona somewhat made its own bed here, having sold both Carles Perez and Abel Ruiz at the end of the January transfer window.

Getafe striker Angel Rodriguez, Alaves target man Lucas Perez, Levante striker Roger Marti, and Leganes frontman Martin Braithwaite have all been mentioned as possibilities. Despite having scored 10 goals this campaign, Rodriguez seems to have lost his place in the Getafe starting lineup, without a start since January 4 with Jamie Mata and Deyverson occupying the spots on the teamsheet. Perez has had an odd season, with eight of his nine league goals coming in a nine-game stretch from late September to late November. Marti has 10 goals this season, but six of those have come in multi-goal games.

Any new signing would not be eligible for Champions League competition, as Barcelona matches up with Napoli in the Champions League Round of 16 this week.

Barcelona’s Dembele to miss six months with injury

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The bad injury news just keeps on coming for Barcelona as Ousmane Dembele will be out for six months following hamstring surgery.

After injuring himself in their UEFA Champions League clash with his former club Borussia Dortmund in late November, Dembele, 22, suffered a serious setback in training last week as he severely damaged his right hamstring.

This caps off a pretty miserable two-and-a-half years for him since he left Dortmund for Barca in a $115 million move to replace Neymar.

The World Cup winner, who will now surely miss EURO 2020 this summer, has been struck by injury on multiple occasions in recent months and he has yet to convince Barca’s fans and pundits that he is capable of delivering the goals and assists the Catalan club need him to on a regular basis.

Here is the statement in full from Barcelona on Dembele’s surgery and the plan for his recovery.

“Ousmane Dembele has successfully undergone surgery in Turku, Finland where he was operated on by Dr. Lasse Lempainen for a ruptured tendon in his proximal hamstring in his right thigh. The Frenchman will be out for around 6 months. The striker was continuing his recovery from the hamstring injury when he was forced to retire from a training session at the Ciutat Esportiva last week. Subsequent tests confirmed a complete rupture to the tendon in the proximal hamstring of his right leg.”

With Luis Suarez out injured until May after undergoing knee surgery, Barcelona will now have to rely on Antoine Griezmann, 17-year-old Ansu Fati and little ol’ Lionel Messi to score their goals to launch them to La Liga and Champions League glory in the final months of the season.

That sound you can hear is the collective soccer world warming up the world’s smallest violin…

Dembele has shown flashes of brilliance at Barca and has won two La Liga titles but he hasn’t been able to replace Neymar which was a big ask and has scored 19 goals in 74 appearances in all competitions and just once in nine outings this season. Let’s not forget, Dembele is only 22 years old and has a huge price tag on his head which will not be easy to handle.

He will now have some time out of the spotlight and maybe that will do him good in the long run as the constant critique of his performance will stop but those labelling him an injury prone mistake will now have further fuel to add to the fire.

Marred by injuries, Dembele fails to meet expectations

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MADRID — More than 17,000 fans were at the Camp Nou when Ousmane Dembele was officially introduced by Barcelona in 2017.

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The expectations were high at the time. The then-20-year-old French forward had been touted as a possible replacement for Neymar, who had just left for Paris Saint-Germain in a record transfer.

Barcelona paid 105 million euros (then $125 million) to sign Dembele from Borussia Dortmund, with add-ons that could have reached 147 million euros ($175 million) and made him the second-highest transfer in soccer history at the time.

Two-and-a-half seasons later, though, Barcelona is still waiting for Dembele to meet all those expectations.

Dembele’s stint with Barcelona has been marked by his numerous injuries, not his goals. Wearing the No. 11 shirt that Neymar used to wear, Dembele has been injured nine different times since arriving, being sidelined for several months and missing more than 60 matches. In the nearly 70 matches Dembele did play, he scored 19 goals.

Dembele’s latest setback is a right-thigh hamstring tear that is likely to keep him out of action for the rest of the season. The injury came in training on Monday as he entered the final stages of his recovery from an injury that had already kept him sidelined since November.

He was almost certain to have a place in the starting lineup once he was back, as striker Luis Suarez is also out injured and is not expected to be fit again until later in the season. Young forward Carles Perez, who also competed for a spot in the attack, signed with Roma in last month’s transfer window. His main competition would have come from Ansu Fati, who is only 17 years old.

“I was confident that Dembele was going to be very helpful for us,” Barcelona coach Quique Setien said Wednesday. “It was unfortunate. It’s sad to see him like that. He is a great kid, I saw how he had been working hard.”

The 22-year-old Dembele had his first major injury shortly after he debuted with Barcelona. It was another hamstring injury, in the left leg, and it kept him out for four months.

Most of his injuries have been muscle problems, with a few ankle issues thrown in.

Dembele’s most recent injury will likely force Barcelona to try to sign another forward, though it will have to look for the player in the Spanish market as the international window ended last month. It would also need authorization from the Spanish soccer federation to add another player to its roster.

The club’s only signing in attack was young Portuguese forward Francisco Trincao, but he will only join the squad after the end of the season.

One of the forwards linked to a possible move to Barcelona is Angel Rodriguez, who has nine goals in 19 Spanish league games with third-place Getafe.

“We will see how it goes,” Setien said. “But if we can’t bring anyone else, it will be fine. We will keep working the same way as we did before.”

Barcelona is also mired in off-the-field problems. Lionel Messi this week publicly hit back at sports director Eric Abidal for criticizing his efforts under former coach Ernesto Valverde. Messi used his Instagram account to say Abidal and other club directors should take responsibility for their recent decisions. Abidal met with club president Josep Bartomeu on Wednesday and was expected to remain on the job.

Barcelona forward Dembele out 10 weeks with leg injury

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BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona says Ousmane Dembele will be sidelined for around 10 weeks after team doctors diagnosed a muscle injury in his right thigh.

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Barcelona released the medical report on Friday, two days after Dembele had to be substituted in the first half of its 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

The player wept when he walked gingerly off the field.

The 22-year-old France forward has been plagued by injuries since joining Barcelona from Dortmund in 2017 on a then-club transfer record of 105 million euros (then $124 million) plus add-ons that could reach 40% of the fee.

He has already missed five matches this season due to a muscle injury.

Dembele will miss Sunday’s match at Atletico Madrid and the clasico against Real Madrid on Dec. 18 at Camp Nou.

His absence means Antoine Griezmann will likely further consolidate his position as a regular starter, while also promising more minutes for teenager Ansu Fati and Carles Perez.