Dembele scuppered Barca’s Neymar hopes


Ousmane Dembele's reluctance to leave Barcelona was the reported reason behind the club's failure to sign Neymar in the summer transfer window.

France international Dembele was the man Barca officials were keen to use as bait in order to get Neymar back from Paris Saint-Germain.

However, the France international, who joined the Catalan giants from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth up to €145 million in summer 2017, was keen to remain a part of coach Ernesto Valverde’s plans this season.

The youngster has scored 18 goals in 66 appearances at the Nou Camp, including eight goals in 29 La Liga games last season, and reports in France claim he still believes he can be a key man for Barca.

Dembele is still facing another month on the sidelines because of a hamstring problem, but that is not believed to have scuppered the cash-plus-player proposal.